People often think of public service as a noble choice. But for many government workers, service is not a choice. It’s a way of life, a calling from within that can’t be ignored. Dr. Jill Biden is one such public servant.
As Second Lady of the United States, Dr. Biden fights to serve the public everyday. She promotes the causes of military families and veterans, raises awareness for breast cancer prevention, and highlights the enabling power of education. On top of those duties, she also teaches English at a local community college.
“There was never any doubt when Joe and I moved to Washington on inauguration day that I would continue to teach,” she said at our recent Next Generation of Government Training Summit.
Vice President Biden was in full support of her decision to continue serving outside of the administration. In fact, Dr. Biden said their “shared sense of responsibility and a passion to level the playing field” is a cornerstone of their relationship. And for her, education is a means to do that.
“Everyday in my classroom, I see the power of education to break down barriers, to open students’ eyes to the possibilities around them, and the opportunity to grow into the people that they aspire to be,” Dr. Biden said.
For Dr. Biden, public service is a central part of her character and life. She isn’t alone in that. “This passion is not unique to me, to Joe or to our family,” she said. “All of you here today found purpose in public service.”
Admittedly, public service is not always the easiest or most thankful job. Dr. Biden recognizes that fact. “You don’t always get the credit you deserve,” she continued. “But you’re doing your part everyday to build us up – to perfect our union – and it’s inspiring to be here with you.”
She asked the nearly 800 government workers in the room to continue pushing forward, recognizing that for most people in the room there wasn’t even an option to do anything outside of service. Dr. Biden also encouraged them to think about the next generation of public servants.
“I know you will harness the skills, innovation and creativity of your generation to tackle some of today’s toughest challenges. We can’t do it alone,” she concluded. “But we need to work together to recruit, reward, train, and welcome a new generation of public servants to join us.”