Haley Brockway: A Voice For Change

Over the past couple of years, I have had the immense pleasure of getting to know one of the most awe-inspiring women present on Florida State’s Campus. Time and time again she has proven herself dedicated not only to Florida State University but also to the advancement of non-profit organizations. Haley Brockway has just recently entered her Junior year here at Florida State University and is acquiring a degree in Business Marketing. I had the opportunity to sit down with Brockway and discuss some of her most memorable experiences, what motivates her, and where she hopes to see herself down the road.

 

Some of Brockway's Most Memorable Experiences

Brockway has worked at the Capitol for the past five summers as an intern for Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Ros-Lehtinen also served as Head of Foreign Affairs and was the first Cuban American and Latina elected to Congress. Part of Brockway’s duties while interning at the Capitol involved attending hearings, taking notes and reporting back to the Congresswoman’s office. This granted Brockway access to high profile hearings such as the legalization of gay marriage by the Supreme Court and the Coney Trials.

Aside from the actual internship itself, Brockway’s ability to attain such opportunities speaks true to her ambitious personality. She was 13 years old when she first toured the Capitol and could not shake the feeling of belonging she got while she was there. When she returned home she immediately contacted the local office through which she received a tour and inquired about how she could submit her application. At 13 years old Brockway submitted her application to start working at the Capitol. Once she turned 15 years old the Congresswoman extended Brockway an opportunity to intern at the Capitol and she remained there for the next five summers.

 

Fun Facts about Brockway’s time at the Capitol

Brockway had the opportunity to lead tours through the Capitol and its secret underground passages. She is also responsible for the first ever congressional viral video which was featured on Good Morning America. It showed the interns dancing to a popular Taylor Swift song. Swift visited the Capitol later that month and the video was used to prompt her to visit.

 

Brockway's Experience with Best Buddies

Best Buddies has been a key influence in Haley Brockway’s life. Her love for the organization began as she moved through the ranks of her local high school club. Brockway shared with Her Campus one of her favorite memories from Best Buddies. During her sophomore year, the organization decided to nominate two peers with down syndrome for the homecoming court. She thought the high school body would not support the choice. Contrary to Brockway’s beliefs, the student body voted the two buddies into the roles of Homecoming King and Queen.

This was a turning point for Brockway that would encourage her to continue working with Best Buddies through her college career.

Brockway is now the president of the Best Buddies chapter here at Florida State and has interned with Best Buddies international for three years. Her goal is to give buddies with intellectual and developmental disabilities an authentic friendship experience. She relayed that there are many things that we take for granted that we don’t realize a person with intellectual and developmental disabilities does not get to experience.  

The Best Buddies Mission Statement

Best Buddies International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

Where does Brockway see Herself in the Future?

Haley has expressed an interest in becoming an advocate for non-profit organizations after graduation.  Her work with the MSD Strong movement has cemented her hope to have her voice heard. Parkland is where Brockway calls home and unfortunately her brother was in the school at the time of the shooting. Thankfully, he escaped uninjured but seeing the tragedy unfold in her own backyard pushed Brockway to action. She marched through Washington D.C. in hopes to enact change. After working with individuals who don’t have the same opportunities that many take for granted, Brockway hopes to positively influence the future of non-profit organizations. 

 

 All photos courtesy of Haley Brockway.