Invincible Alums Take on Capitol Hill
Published: Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 02:02
A group of young Georgetown University Law Center graduates is making waves on Capitol Hill. The group, called Young Invincibles, has lobbied for rights and legal benefits for today’s black sheep generation: millennials.
Founded four years ago by then-Georgetown law students Ari Matusiak (LAW ’10) and Aaron Smith (LAW ’10), Young Invincibles is the preeminent youth advocacy agency in Washington, D.C. The organization was inspired by the pair’s desire to represent the interests of people between the ages of 18 and 34 and to provide a means by which their voices could be heard during the healthcare debates of 2009.
“There are so many situations where this generation does not have the voice they should have, and the debates are going on, but it disproportionally impacts [the youth’s] future,” Deputy Director of Young Invincibles Jen Mishory (LAW ‘10) said.
Smith stressed the oft-underestimated importance that the millennial generation can have in the national political discussion.
“There’s this idea that young people don’t care… [but] we understand from firsthand experience the power that young people can have in the political process, and that’s one of the big drivers for Young Invincibles,” Smith said.
According to the organization’s mission statement, the group conducts “cutting-edge policy research and analysis” by sharing the stories of young adults, designing campaigns to educate and inform the public on important issues, encouraging the younger generation to advocate for necessary change and protecting their economic interests.
“We work particularly on three core issues when it comes to economic interest; access to healthcare, access to higher education and access to good employment,” Policy and Research Director Rory O’Sullivan said.
Through Young Invincibles, Smith has had the opportunity to engage with President Obama on an array of topics, most notably job opportunities for recent graduates.
The group’s support has also buoyed pro-millennial legislation in Congress, including the Affordable Care Act proviso that allows individuals to stay on their parents’ healthcare plans until the age of 26. Last summer, the organization made strides in the debate on student loans by playing a large role in placing caps on interest rates for student loans.
“It was important that we got caps in the new policy that allowed for varying interest rates so that those rates wouldn’t get too high for students,” Smith said.
Smith praised the Georgetown Law curriculum for facilitating his, Matusiak’s and Mishory’s involvement in the public interest and about the theory and policy behind law, which greatly shaped the founding of Young Invincibles and the students’ careers.
“That program was amazing. It really had a huge impact on the development of our careers and many of the students from that program went on to do incredible things,” Smith said.
Rooted in the nation’s capital, the organization also supports staff and offices in San Francisco, New York and Chicago. The team hopes to expand further to facilitate more localized impacts through state legislation.