Why I Want to Have a Career in Public Service
To me, a career in public service is more than lending a hand. It’s more than volunteering once or twice at a local food pantry or homeless shelter. Obviously, those are important things and help our communities in many ways. But a career in public service to me is about committing yourself, your values, and your efforts to bettering the world around you. A career dedicated to public service is about enhancing the assets and talents of communities and its members to alleviate societal problems and harms. Public service isn’t just done by one person, it takes a village. I want to be in a career where I work with people for people and for healthier, safer, more empowered communities.
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A Plan to Serve
To me, a career in public service is more than lending a hand. It’s more than volunteering once or twice at a local food pantry or homeless shelter.
Obviously, those are important things and help our communities in many ways. But a career in public service to me is about committing yourself, your values, and your efforts to bettering the world around you. A career dedicated to public service is about enhancing the assets and talents of communities and its members to alleviate societal problems and harms. Public service isn’t just done by one person, it takes a village. I want to be in a career where I work with people for people and for healthier, safer, more empowered communities.
Dedicated to the Public
My passion for public service and activism started in high school when I became involved with an organization called Youth to Youth.
Youth to Youth inspired me to have confidence in myself as a young leader, have my efforts and passions help others, and believe in the power of community when trying to solve some of our nation’s most challenging problems. In high school I was able to develop strong leadership and mentorship skills. I felt empowered knowing I had the potential to make a difference in my community and felt a strong sense of urgency to further my efforts beyond the limits of my high school.
How to Change the World
Outside of high school, I served on a local council and committee made up of community members and professionals in my town.
I was the youngest member and felt motivated and energized to be helping my community alongside people I really respected and looked up to. Not only that, but I was given a lot of responsibility even though I was the youngest of the council and that in itself, gave me confidence to pursue my large goals for the greater good of my community.
During my senior year of high school I was awarded a Book Award from a local college. Many students were given book awards that aligned with their interests, desired career paths, and aspiring majors in college.
When I opened the wrapping of my book it became clear to me that my passion wasn’t just something I had realized and did quietly, it was something that people were noticing. The book I received was entitled, “How to Change the World” by David Bornstein.
Creating Goals for a Better Community
Change and Activism
Although it may just seem like a book and an award given to me by my high school in Connecticut, it was so much more than that to me.
My community was taking notice of the work I was doing for others. Not that my intention and reasoning for devoting myself to community change and activism were for people to pay attention to my efforts – but by them recognizing my passion for public service, I could tell that maybe I was doing something good for the people around me and setting a positive example for others.
When I got to college, my passion just kept growing. And I had a new community I could invest my time, care, love, and passion in. I listened to community members, got to know them and their neighborhoods, and asked what issues were impacting their city and how I could best assist in finding those solutions with them.
Working alongside community members who were passionate about working towards a more just and equitable society was not only inspiring – but empowering.
I felt constantly ready, willing, and excited to help spark and facilitate meaningful change in the communities around me with the consent and acceptance of those most affected. Facing the reality of the problems many communities in our nation face today can be daunting, overwhelming, and upsetting. But in the moments where I feel most defeated and deterred, I remember why I want to dedicate myself to public service in the first place.
Working Towards a Better Future
I care so deeply about working towards a society where no one has to suffer, feel disempowered and disenfranchised, have a poor and unequal quality of life, or live in fear because society has ostracized and marginalized parts of their humanity and identity.
Until we live in a world that is just, unprejudiced, empowering, and operating for the greater good of its people, I will not stop working in public service. I believe strongly in the power of community service, activism, and positive leadership and I will continue to embody those passions in all the work I do in the future. This is just the start.