As a South Carolina native who does very little travelling out of state, I had a preconceived idea of what my adventures in DC would be. I expected to get lost in a crowd or have my life in danger from the wild driving skills of the cab drivers (not so – both drivers were very cautious and extremely kind). Instead, I was delighted with the hospitality of our nation’s capital city and the residents who love it.
While at the conference I was in my element among #DataNerds from all over the country and abroad. I soaked up every opportunity to learn how to pimp my dashboard (that’s another blog in itself), makeover my database and carve my path to becoming a #DataDiva. Midway through the conference, I presented on how the SC Campaign is using a Business Intelligence software to monitor teen birth trends and where to invest for programming in our state. It was exciting to present on behalf of our organization and the progress our state is making toward reducing the teen birth rate.
I spent most of my visit just outside of downtown DC in the National Harbor. Ironically, my only opportunity to travel into DC was on September 11th. The day before, a fellow conference attendee sat down at my lunch table and soon realized it was my first visit to DC. He began to gush about how wonderful the city is. His passion for the city was contagious and encouraged me to be brave and explore the city the following day (he even convinced me that taking the metro into town was something I must try – and I did!). I saw the Washington Monument, the White House and more food trucks than I knew existed!
I’ll never forget my time in DC – it was a reminder of how kind people can be even amidst one of the saddest weeks for our country.