Public service manifests itself in many different forms. Some find themselves getting involved in their child’s PTA, volunteering at their local food bank, deciding to run for their local city council, or joining our armed forces. For me, I joined CivicSpark, an AmeriCorp public service program that has brought me here to Sierra Business Council. For the next 11 months, I will be serving as a CivicSpark Climate Fellow managing projects to build capacity for local governments in the Sierra Nevada. Some of my projects include working with Nevada County to implement their recently approved Energy Action Plan and working with the City of Portola to become more fire safe.
This opportunity to serve the Sierra is extra special to me because this is my home. I grew up in the small town of Loyalton, California nestled in the Sierra Valley. My family has been in the valley for seven generations so to say our roots are deep would be an understatement. When it came time to explore colleges, I wanted to stay where I could enjoy the crisp mountain air and world class views so I joined the Wolf Pack. I graduated this past May with my Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with a minor in Public Administration from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Little did I know that the University of Nevada would be a place where my passion for public service could thrive. I have always been involved in my community, be it through volunteering events or student organizations, but getting involved during my college years took that involvement to the next level. I joined the Associated Students of the University of Nevada (ASUN) and saw the impact that serving one’s community can have. ASUN represents the interests of 18,000 undergraduate students while advocating at the local, state, and federal level. I was fortunate to be elected to many positions throughout my time where I advocated for the advancement of women, the environment and affordable housing needs. Through these experiences, I began to see the bigger picture of serving others. Service became my way of life and integrated itself in the way I approach solving problems and interact with my peers. It gave my life, and work, a deeper meaning. Meaningful work is why I have chosen a career in public service and why I encourage others to consider one as well.
Many people are afraid to go into public service or non-profit work for fear of not being paid enough. I would argue that public sector jobs have a number of key advantages that are often overlooked that go much deeper than one’s paycheck. Here are five reasons why I think everyone should consider a job in public service:
Now, I know that not everyone can work in public or non-profit jobs, but I truly believe a position that can propel your passions is worth exploring at any stage in life. Working towards underserved causes has given me immense happiness and sense of purpose that has propelled me in the early stages of my career. I am so excited to begin this journey as a Fellow with Sierra Business Council to expand regional resilience, build climate action capacity for local governments, and serve our Sierra Nevada.