The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) has given me access to a multitude of information concerning the needs of children in America and how our society measures up to those needs. CDF's mission is to Leave No Child Behind and to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. Following its mission, CDF thoroughly examines children's issues, and then uses that information to educate the nation about the needs of children. By fostering an awareness of children's needs, CDF works to provide a strong, effective voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby, or speak for themselves. As a CDF intern working in the Campaign Division, I have seen first-hand the process of giving children voice within our complicated bureaucratic system. This process entails networking a group of individuals who feel strongly about some issue related to children, bringing them to Wash ington D.C., and allowing them to speak directly with the Senator and/or Representative of their state about that issue. The end result is so amazing! Because of these experiences, I have changed my view of the government and the power of ordinary citizens. Our Government should not be viewed as a detached institution dictating orders down to the people, instead, it should be viewed as an integral part of our every day lives, as a tool every one can use at any given moment to improve their families, their communities, and their nation.