keshaperry

The Fiery 8 Year Old Speaks

In Uncategorized on September 17, 2010 at 7:44 am

You do not have to know me very long to learn that my mother is my role model. I cannot thank her enough for instilling in me the value of service, commitment, and loyalty. She is a great teacher because she was mentored by an even better one: my grandmother. Both exemplified what it means to better one’s community, and before I realized it, I was infected with that same bug.

I have known I wanted to work in the public sector since I was 8. I was not the average child—I knew and accepted this calling no matter how daunting the challenge may be. I have been very fortunate to realize my goal, yet the work has only begun. I believe I am on a mission, a mission to educate, train, improve, empower, engage, learn, and study; essentially, continually improving the administration of public services.

I have been fortunate enough to be selected as a participant in the 2010-11 National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA) mentor program. The association’s mission is to “strengthen the position of Blacks within the field of public administration; to increase the number of Blacks appointed to executive positions in public service organizations; and, to groom and prepare younger, aspiring administrators for senior public management posts in the years ahead.” The program will pair me with a seasoned African American public administrator who will serve as my coach, sounding board, and guide as I navigate through the very public waters of service. Never has the quote “standing on the shoulders of giants” meant so much to me, for those public administrators have accepted and understand the significance of grooming the next generation of leaders.

The fiery 8 year old is still trapped inside; that burning passion to serve and help my community is not waning. Mentoring is a highly underutilized and undervalued tool, but NFBPA has seemingly tapped into the hidden value and treasures mentoring brings. And now, my goal is to soak in these opportunities for maturation and growth, so I can better serve the Mississippi I love.

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