Kevin Carter

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 Georgetown.

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 Fellowship (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 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 life.