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"Citizenship: A Call for Involvement" - by Christina Hendrick

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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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