My experience: The Importance of Serving Others
Dedication to service for others. This core tenet has been a central principle of my life. I am fortunate to have been raised in a family of public servants — from members who have served in the military, to first responders, to government service employees supporting the mission of the U.S. armed forces. From my grandfather, a Lieutenant Colonel who served our country during World War II; to my stepfather, an Army Captain; to my father, a lifelong volunteer firefighter, my family has taught me the meaning of service and sacrifice. My mother, who became a marketing specialist for the Army Public Health Command, did so without the benefit of a college degree. She instilled in me a spirit of resilience and the wherewithal to overcome obstacles in my path. My greatest ambition is to continue this legacy of honor and service as a Public Affairs Officer in the U.S. Navy.
My own career in public service began as a freshman at York College of Pennsylvania, where I won a seat as a sophomore Senator. After a year of working with the student body to make the campus more sustainable and the Administration’s budget more transparent to students, I decided to continue my education closer to Washington, D.C., to gain more real-world experience. I transferred to the University of Maryland at College Park and joined the club lacrosse team, which sharpened my ability to effectively work in a team setting and achieve shared goals. In addition, I sought and was selected for a highly-competitive internship on Capitol Hill.
After graduation, I worked a series of retail jobs to make ends meet, but I never lost sight of my goal to return to public service. Through hard work, I rose to the rank of Field Organizer on a congressional campaign. The candidate, Dr. Manan Trivedi, was a former Naval battalion surgeon who treated Marines on the ground in Iraq. Speaking with him during that campaign affected me deeply, and I grew to respect not only him but the Naval culture that produces men like him. My respect for Dr. Trivedi and the men and women he served with inspired me to seriously look at the Navy for the first time, and eventually convinced me it was the branch I belonged in. As Dr. Trivedi’s field organizer, I built a network of volunteers to aid me in promoting his candidacy. Under my leadership, our campaign became a national leader in volunteer recruitment and retention.
My skills in public communication brought me my next opportunity in Congress. I was hired as an aide to Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, where my responsibilities included drafting floor speeches and writing her official newsletter. I supervised a rotating team of interns, briefing them on the Congresswoman’s policy positions to ensure that their writing accurately reflected the Congresswoman’s positions. I also worked with the Communications Director to ensure the Congresswoman’s media goals were achieved weekly. After my tenure with Congresswoman Jackson Lee, I advanced to the position of scheduler for Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez. In Rep. Velázquez’s office, I honed many skills that I believe would serve me and the Navy well as a Public Affairs Officer. I set up meetings and conferences ranging from the constituent level to presidential cabinet members level, I compiled the Congresswoman’s daily briefings, advised her on the parties she would be meeting with and the subjects they would be discussing, and helped her craft clear and concise messages for our constituents.
Though I have many ties to the Army, Dr. Trivedi instilled in me a principle that is core to Navy ethos: damage control is everyone’s business. The Navy’s commitment to the life and the welfare of their men and women has resonated with me in my career since meeting Dr. Trivedi. I would be honored to carry on this proud legacy while serving as a Public Affairs Officer. This would couple my passion for public service and fighting for the values we hold dear as Americans. If I am afforded this honor, I know the Navy would get a committed, fierce, and loyal member of its armed forces. I am ready to sacrifice for and support the mission of ensuring freedom and global security for our citizens.