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    Walter Reuther, the American labor union leader, once said, “There is no greater calling than to serve your fellow men. There is no greater contribution than to help the weak. There is no greater satisfaction than to have done it well.”

    Public service attracts a special kind of individual, one who is driven by the desire to serve the public interest and further the greater good. When you think of public servants who do heroic jobs, do you picture police officers, firefighters, and soldiers? While all those people selflessly serve the public, they’re not the only everyday heroes.

  • The field of public service is very broad, encompassing everything from teachers and health care workers to law enforcement professionals and social workers.




    Karla L. Drenner, PhD, MS, MBA, and Kaplan University College of Social and Behavioral Sciences faculty member, recently helped shine a spotlight on public service by sharing just a few examples of individuals working to build a brighter tomorrow in a variety of jobs and fields

    Public Safety: Jeh Johnson, the U.S. secretary of homeland security, has one of the most important public safety jobs in the nation: protecting the lives of the American people. Johnson’s career started in law and included several stints in public service, including serving as general counsel for the Department of Defense. There, he paved the way for the reversal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in 2010.

    Public Administration: Another public service official painting a bright future for all is Tammy Baldwin, United States senator for Wisconsin. Baldwin shattered the state’s glass ceiling when she was elected as its first female member of Congress, and she also became the nation’s first openly gay senator. Throughout her career, she has been a strong advocate for fairness, equality, and opportunity.

    Psychology: Other public service leaders are making a change for those who deal with mental health struggles. Clarissa Black, founder of Pets for Vets, is a great example. After witnessing the powerful role therapy dogs played in recovery for veterans and soldiers, she founded her organization in order to make an impact. Her passion for working with animals and her own experience with post-traumatic stress disorder allow her to help others heal physical and emotional wounds.

    To explore career options in which you can make a real change like these public service leaders, visit Kaplan University’s Center for Public Service for professional development and career advancement resources that can help. 

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