“Citizenship: A Call for Involvement” – by Christina Hendrick

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Matt Pruitt

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I have been a servant of the public sector for twelve years serving not
only the local governments of Louisiana, but also the state to the best

of my ability. From the Office of Community Development, to the Disaster

Recovery effort of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, I have

devoted my life to be one of public service. It is with great vision,

energy and our states new administration of opportunity that I

respectfully request to be considered for this scholarship as a player

in this state’s positive growth.

Louisiana’s population is continuingly growing diverse; adequately

representing Louisiana’s diversity and demographics which are essential

to the success of our current leadership’s vision toward an ethical,

productive, and prosperous Louisiana. I wish to be a part of this

success by representing the views, policies, growth and success of all

citizens of Louisiana. My life, journey and expectations are to maximize

citizens’ role in society, professionalism, representation in

government, business and family.

Currently I am serving as the Program and Outreach Coordinator for a 32

million dollar disaster recovery program for those affected by

Hurricanes Gustav and Ike from the creation of the program with adoption

of policy to the underwriting and implementation process. I am

concurrently in the second half of my curriculum at Louisiana State

University in the Public Administration Institute in order to benefit

our states positive growth while promoting public policies that will

achieve a mutual vision of our states future to the best of my ability.

Now more than ever opportunities exist for all to benefit.

Coming from a family situation that was less than fortunate, as well as

being the first and only college graduate in my family, I am passionate

about our society that is currently suffering from a lack of

understanding of the act of citizenship. Citizenship is not just the act

of voting once every four years for a presidential candidate, but

taking an active role in society. It is also more than just the act of

involvement that I am addressing, but the level of involvement as well.

Many citizens do not take part in our free democracy because they are

intimidated by their lack of knowledge or understanding. That is why it

is imperative for our country to be educated on the local, state, and

national level.

Some may see citizenship as merely casting a ballot, but with a face and

voice, its soul can be heard and allowed to move our nation. Lives have

been lost while controversy has risen and been silenced, all upon the

cause of freedom. In our representative democracy, we are given the

opportunity to choose the leaders that make the decisions required to

maintain this system. Without the required education, individuals cannot

make informed decisions that truly reflect their views.

This problem goes beyond the mere intimidation or apathy that some may

feel due to ignorance or simply not understanding how to run the levered

machines. It reaches farther into the almost requirement of voting.

With much freedom comes much responsibility. We continue to receive the

benefits of our system regardless of whether or not we choose to give

back to it. I have completed over 17,000 hours of community service for

this very purpose. Giving back to our citizens is what fuels the system

and allows it to continue. This is just one example of the extent of

liberty we are handed daily.

I do not want to take this liberty for granted and feel that by giving

less than what is required of me, I am taking advantage of a system that

is too often taken for granted. It is our duty to give back to the

system that has handed us the freedom to become anything we dream. It is

with the same passion that it hands us the education in order to

achieve it.

As recipients of means to accomplish any dream with almost complete

freedom, it is crucial that citizenship be given a voice in order to

educate and mobilize voters. It is my goal to pour into individuals not

only the importance of educating voters and encouraging voting, but the

overwhelming and contagious passion to give back to a country that has

given us everything. Furthermore, by our involvement, we are continuing

to protect the system that gives us the same freedom. Finally, by this

act the voices of our people can be truly heard.

Thank you for the opportunity to express my views and provide my service

to the citizens of our state. I look forward to the opportunity to

serve all citizens equally regardless of their lack of knowledge or

understanding in our free democracy.

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