How civic learning can inspire future generations of public servants
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How civic learning can inspire future generations of public servants

March 15, 2024

Students, teachers and community members across the country have been participating in hundreds of events to recognize Civic Learning Week. This annual event raises awareness about how “civic learning is needed to ensure each and every person across this country has the necessary tools to engage as members of our self-governing society.”

Civic engagement can include voting, attending political events, posting about elections and civic issues on social media, and volunteering as poll watchers or on political campaigns.

And that’s not all—beyond election politics, civic engagement can also include learning about and pursuing opportunities in the federal workforce.

Our democracy depends on the people who work in government. But today our country is in dire need of a new generation of diverse and skilled public servants to keep us safe, respond to emergencies, design high-impact social programs and engage in cutting-edge research.

Civic learning can play an important role in meeting this need by showing young people the wide range of federal job opportunities out there and helping them envision themselves in the rooms where key decisions are made and problems are solved.

Many educators are already finding ways to promote government service as a part of civic learning initiatives:

  1. Civics can educate young people about how federal agencies work, their responsibilities and their impact. iCivics provides resources to educators about the structure and functions of these agencies, their roles in the broader workings of the executive branch and the responsibilities of the officials who lead them.
  2. Civics can pull back the curtain on the wide range of jobs and careers in the federal government. Federal jobs are available in every state, Washington, D.C., all the U.S. territories and more than 140 foreign countries. In fact, nearly 85% of government jobs are located outside the Washington, D.C., area. Whether young people want to work in technology, medicine, engineering or national security, or have an interest in art history, zoology or architecture, they can find relevant federal job opportunities.
  3. Civics can also educate young people about how to navigate pathways to public service jobs such as AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, and federal internships and fellowships. The Partnership for Public Service’s Federal Internship Finder compiles publicly accessible information about professional and academic opportunities in government for students and recent graduates into one centralized place.

Educators looking for case studies or stories of innovative public servants to incorporate into their lesson plans can access scores of examples from our library of Service to America Medals® recipients.

In these ways, civic learning can play a role in inspiring the next generation of public servants to join government and change lives here and around the world, working to end homelessness, find cures for disease, keep our food supply safe and more.

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