The Young, The Wild, The Free

By Manny Jacobson

When the average person think about government workers in Washington D.C., they automatically think about the senators and congressmen that are, to say it nicely, of the older generation.

Throughout this past week, speakers at our academic seminars have spoken on many topics. They each brought in their own perspectives and opinions. In most cases it seemed that the only thing that they universally agreed on was that the government system has its flaws.

Believe it or not, they all agreed on another idea that, for the most part, no one really paid much attention to. This idea was, the millennials are the future.

For those of you who are not familiar with the millennials, a millennial is a person who grows up around the turn of the millennium (year 2000).

Howard Dean, while on his mini rant about schooling, mentioned something interesting. He stated that, “Us old guys may be the face of the government, but you, the millennials, are actually running it,”.

At first, I thought that he was blaming our generation for everything that is going wrong with this country. It was not until today, that I think I figured out what he was alluding to.

Today, we had the opportunity to meet with one of our alums who just happens to work at the White House. Ryan Price, a recent graduate of Drake University, worked at the White House Legislative Affairs office. In fact, as of this past week, he has moved to a new position within The White House.

Our happy, cohesive group in front of the the White House. Photo by Jill Vanwyke

Our happy, cohesive group in front of the White House. Photo by Jill Vanwyke

Now to the point. While chatting over coffee, Ryan mentioned the average age of an employee at the White House is about 26 to 28 years old. This now makes me realize who we met while out visiting congressional offices this past week. Many of the people on staff at these offices were recent college graduates, many of whom started with just an internship and worked their way up.

Howard Dean, at least I hope, was not blaming us for what has already happened. He was, instead, accrediting us as being the workforce with the ability to turn this government around.

Like most things, there comes a time period in which one version of something is phased out and replaced by newer, more technologically advanced version.

My generation just happens to be that next version. The truth is, my generation is the future. Our future is what we make it, and we have the ability to take this country back in the right direction.

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