By Taylor Sellers
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Drake in D.C. students spent their time volunteering at local schools. On every day after, the U.S. government promotes service for their workers.
Reflections of MLK Jr. can be found many places in Washington D.C., but perhaps most in its citizens. The City Year team that sponsored the day of service that Drake in D.C. Students participated in were stationed at schools across the D.C. area. With their preparation and organization, I worked on a mural in a local elementary school. Other Drake students participated in different projects at the schools. City Year claimed that this year they had a record number of day of service volunteers in D.C., totaling over 1,700 people.
The federal government may have had the day off today, but the value of service is still one that is held highly.
Serving the people is an ideal behind the work of the federal government. Often times, the service they provide to this country is largely unseen. The work of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission was expanded as a response to the 2008 financial crisis, according to alum Cory Claussen. The work that they do to preserve financial calm is unintelligible to an average citizen (including me), but their work helps everyday people in financial situations.
The USDA has programs to help people that most people never give them credit for as well. According to Drake alum Lanon Baccam, the USDA has a foreign agriculture service that helps manage the exportation of USA grown produce. The water in our rivers have been kept clean in part by the USDA, which has programs to keep farming chemicals out of our waterways.
The federal government does not stop there. At the Drake Alumni Reception, a State Department worker explained how the hiring process worked for positions in the government. He told us that military service was esteemed highly during the application process, and that veterans are considered more for government work.
Several Drake alums that we have spoken to in the city have mentioned working in the Peace Corps as well immediately after graduation.
As Martin Luther King Jr. day comes to an end, and the schools of Washington D.C. have been beautified, the federal government continues to respect those who have served our country, and serves the interests of its citizens in ways that people don’t even realize.