Young Government Leaders (YGL) and GovLoop present the NextGen Public Service Awards for superior public service and achievement. The 4th Annual NextGen Public Service Awards will be given at the 2014 NextGen Award’s Ceremony, which will kick off the NextGen Training Summit on July 23rd in Washington, DC. We have 18 finalists in six different categories. All month long we will be introducing you to the finalists.
Meet the Finalist:
Who: Erin Carter, secretary for the Martin Luther King Steering Committee and the Regional Political Director for Senator Mark Warner’s campaign.
Achievement: NextGen Public Service Award Finalist, Courage Award Category.
“An Emerging Leader, Erin Carter, currently serves as U.S. Senator Mark Warner’s Political Director for the Hampton Roads area for his campaign. Erin’s dream for political success and achievement began at the early age of nine. Already entranced by the allure of local city council meetings and the political section of newspapers and magazines, Erin knew that a life dedicated to policy and public service would be a life for her.” – Gail Henderson, Legislative Assistant, Senator L. Louise Lucas' 18th Senatorial District. Henderson nominated Carter for the Courage award.
For Erin Carter, public service started early. In grade school, she was her class president and began volunteering her time to state and local government organizations.
“Our country is faced with a lot of really hard and intractable problems, but if everyone would just do something to be a service then the world would become a better place for everyone to live,” said Carter. “That’s why I’m a public servant.”
In addition to her work on the Warner campaign, Carter was also a field organizer and staffed the 2013 gubernatorial campaign for Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.
“I believe that every election is an important election,” Carter said. “Most people will turn out for presidential elections and not for the state and local elections. As the Field Organizer for McAullife, I actually had the opportunity to get out there in the community and let them know that an election was coming. I got to educate people on the big issues.”
The one-on-one connection to the community and the government that serves them is what drives Carter to succeed.
“I’m so glad that I could advocate and educate people about issues and making the community and help them get involved,” she said. “Because when more people get involved, that’s when you start to see change.”
At 20, Carter is the youngest finalist for the NextGen Public Service Awards. And unlike many people of her age, Carter thinks the government is the way of the future. “Most people think government workers are lazy and that they are just good enough for government work,” she said. “But the reality of the matter is the people that work in government do a lot for this country and for the sake of the United States. Most people aren’t aware of what the government actually does – it’s high time we change that.”