“A Lasting Impact” – by Kevin Carter


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Two days into the second semester of my senior year at American
University, I left school and boarded a train for South Carolina’s
Republican Primary. I had already volunteered the previous four weeks at
Senator McCain’s Nevada State Headquarters, and I didn’t want to sit in
class studying the primaries when I could be there impacting them.

I spent the week talking with voters and assisting the advance team. At
one point, I was delegated the all-important task of
“human-traffic-cone.” I stood in heavy rain to save a parking spot for
the “Straight-Talk Express” because even the smallest of my efforts
could have an impact. I believe I am a good candidate for the Campus
Gov/GovLoop Schoolarship because it would help me achieve a greater
impact on public service in the future.

My idealism isn’t naïve. I have interned for a lobbying firm, worked for
the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM), served as
Campaign Manager for a State Assembly race, and currently work full
time for the International City/County Management Association (ICMA).
Through it all, I’ve become more interested and confident in our
government and how it serves people.

I actually started working for ICMA after writing my graduate school
statement of purpose for Georgetown University. Their application, like
yours, required I “relate (my) education and interest in pursuing a
career within the public sector.” During my undergraduate course work at
American University, I studied public administration and did
independent research on the benefits of publicly funded stadiums, and I
knew that I eventual hope to serve as a city manager. So, I researched
what city managers do on ICMA’s website, applied for a position ICMA
advertised, and have worked at ICMA full time for the past year – all
while working full time towards my Master’s in American Government at

I’m also excited because, in the last month, I’ve been given an
incredible opportunity to serve the public sector and give back: I’ve
been selected as a finalist for the Presidential Management Program
(PMF). Although I don’t know yet where I’ll find placement, I believe
the PMF will allow me to pursue amazing leadership opportunities in the
federal government and better prepare me for when I eventually apply for
city manager positions.

It is as a city manager that I believe I can have the most impact. I’ll
be able to work directly with residents, staff, the mayor, and city
council to develop policy which positively impacts the community and
those who live there. And because it’s at the local level, I will have
the unique privilege to see that impact.

The scholarship would greatly help me finish my graduate education
(especially the summer courses), and create a lasting impact in my own

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