Samuel Adam Berkman

During the time I was earning my undergraduate degree, I took an Introduction to Sociology course. This social science illuminated my mind to the vast weaving of social constructs that form our society: privileges, restrictions, advantages, disadvantages. It was as if all of a sudden I had been taken backstage at a play where all of the inner workings were revealed to me. On the last day of class, my professor told us students that we have a responsibility, as educated citizens, to “leave the world a better place” than we found it. I graduated with a minor in Sociology.

It was after graduation that I found myself faced with social issues I had learned about and the words of my professor echoing in my head. My time in college had served me well to identify the hurdles we face as a nation, but I was still lacking the knowledge and means to do something about them. I therefore decided that I would pursue a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree, and am currently scheduled to begin my coursework in the MPA program at the George Washington University in Fall 2010. This will allow me to learn in greater detail about the system and procedures through which I wish to make change—to make ours a better nation.

In addition to my future degree, other experiences of mine have shaped the person I am and the skills I possess, making me a qualified candidate for a career in public service. Throughout college I was elected (twice) to serve as the Vice President of the student association, an independent 501(c)(4) organization. It was in this capacity that I learned how to successfully lead a non-profit organization. I also volunteered at a women’s shelter, witnessing first-hand one of the many issues that I wish to combat. After college, I served as the Legislative Affairs Intern for the Economic Development Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. With this, I was able to experience the unique relationship between the Legislative branch of our government and an Executive branch entity.

Currently, I am serving as a Team Leader for the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC)—an 11-month, residential, team-based national and community service program. Through NCCC, I have led a team of Corps Members that work with various organizations throughout the country on a myriad of service projects. I am also on track to receive the Congressional Award and Presidential Service Award in July 2010, further demonstrating my commitment, experience and qualifications toward public service.

All of my experiences—past, present, and future—have (and will continue to) lead me toward my goal that was set back in my Introduction to Sociology class: to leave the world a better place. The CampusGov/GovLoop Scholarship will make my aspiration that much more attainable. Thank you.