The potential for positive community impact clearly motivates the three passionate MPA graduates who won travel stipends to attend the 102nd Annual ICMA Conference in this Summer’s Life, Well Run Student Photo Contest. The pictures submitted by several graduate-level students depict how professional local governments impact communities in positive ways.
“My motivation for public service stems from the notion that there is always a better process to accomplish something while simultaneously making sure that our residents receive the greatest benefit,” said first-place winner, Joey Garcia. “As cliche as it sounds, I truly want to make the world a little better; and I wholeheartedly believe I can accomplish this by providing the best possible service to our local communities and having that level of commitment ripple throughout the U.S.” Garcia said he is thrilled his photo (above) showing community building at a Torrance, Calif., Open House was chosen.
“After my short two-month internship with the City of Warrensburg in Missouri, I realized that local government had a lot to offer,” said third-place winner Emily Tipps, who interns at the City of DeKalb, Ill. “I had the opportunity to work with a variety of different departments and always had a project to work on. After that internship, I knew local government was for me. I would be able to stay busy at work, never have the same day, and help individuals in the communities without being front and center in the lime light.”
Tipps, who received her MPA from Northern Illinois University, and her team won third place for a photo depicting local artwork in their #proudlydekalb campaign.
MPA Management Intern, Katie Taylor, received second place in the contest for a photo depicting the process of 500 tons of sand being brought into the Town of Longboat Key, Fla., to control erosion and provide a beach that is friendly for residents and tourists.
Taylor, an MPA grad from the University of South Florida, is motivated to serve in local government because “…every day I come to work, no matter what it may be, I am serving my community. My job makes a difference in people’s lives and at the end of the day I feel complete.”
“I am now more excited than ever to attend this year’s ICMA Annual Conference,” Garcia said. “I am incredibly grateful to ICMA-RC for providing student members with waived registrations. I cannot emphasize enough my gratitude towards ICMA for its commitment to emerging leaders. I am looking forward to growing as a public servant and to having some good eats!” Garcia received his MPA from California State University.
The top 12 photos will be highlighted at the conference in Kansas City, Mo. The Student Chapter Programs and Life, Well Run are both supported by generous grants from ICMA-RC to help attract and support the next generation of local government leaders.
“I am definitely looking forward to Kansas City. Not only for the networking and professional development opportunities, but also because I did my undergraduate degree near Kansas City,” said Tipps. She hopes to start her career in human resources, communications or a city manager’s office.