Back in September when I submitted an idea for the SAVE Award program, I never thought that I would be selected as one of four finalists. I honestly didn’t expect it to be forwarded for someone to actually read. Imagine my surprise when I received a phone call in early December telling me I was in the “final four” out of more than 38,000 entries!
It didn’t stop there. Over the course of the next few days there were newspaper and radio interviews as well as the on-line voting competition to pick a winner. It was a whirlwind of activity that, to say the least, I was very much unprepared to handle.
My colleagues at work were stunned once I had shared the news and at first thought that I was joking. Once they got past the fact my idea was in the final four, they went out and voted. I hope they voted for me, but I told them to vote for the idea they liked best.
My family and friends were pretty excited for me once I had explained the contest to them. My wife says that I am her “favorite celebrity”.
I received many congratulatory emails and phone calls from people across the nation that I had never met both within the Federal Government and the public. I had a voicemail message from a young lady in Atlanta who had read the article in USA Today and voted for me. She manages a large senior citizen complex and hoped my idea would win.
Watching a video online that the President made announcing the four final ideas was surreal. Several top members of the HUD staff contacted me to say congratulations even Secretary Donovan took time out to call and express his thanks for my idea.
All in all it was an overwhelming but exciting event to be involved in. I think that everyone that worked on the project submitting ideas or reviewing them and organizing everything should be very proud of themselves. As we begin to see some of the ideas implemented in the next few months or years, I can look back and smile as I know that I had a part in it.
It was fun to be “famous” for a little while, but to be honest I am glad the voting is over.
Thanks to everyone who voted for me!
Huston Prescott works for the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Anchorage, AK