We the Partnership

How three public servants strengthened our country’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion

By Greg Arcuri
August 24, 2021

In our #IServeBecause survey last May, the Partnership asked federal employees to describe what public service means to them and to share stories from their professional careers. The responses we received were inspiring. Hundreds of civil servants—with diverse backgrounds and working across various agencies—explained why someone interested in helping others and serving the country would find a career in the federal government rewarding.

From breaking barriers for people with disabilities interested in federal work to helping immigrants gain U.S. citizenship, these public servants have helped build a more diverse, equitable and inclusive nation.

Rita H. at the Food and Drug Administration has been a public servant for over 40 years, joining the federal workforce in 1980. As a person with a visual impairment, she was determined to pave the way for others with disabilities entering the civil service.

“No one thought I could do the work,” she said. “But as I moved up the ladder, I began to be recognized for all the work I was doing.” Rita eventually went on to mentor youth with disabilities in Atlanta and is currently ending her career as the FDA’s Section 508 coordinator, ensuring the agency’s online resources comply with accessibility best practices. She said she is “so happy to have been a small part of how much more accessible the FDA website and electronic materials are.”

John M. at the Department of Education was driven to public service by a passion for serving the underserved. Working with the Education for Homeless Children and Youth program, John helps children “caught in the gaps” between state and federal welfare systems to make sure they get the resources they need.

While the job is morally fulfilling, John also says it exposes him to a variety of new and different fields. “A day at work can feel like studying liberal arts where I’m dealing with data analysis, policy development, contract management, interagency coordination and communicating with the public,” he said. “There’s a hardly a dull moment!”

Franklin G. at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services feels privileged to have helped our government create a more diverse nation during his 30-plus years of public service. As a senior immigration service officer, Franklin “shapes the future” of the country by managing citizenship and immigration applications. “It is wonderful to imagine the joy that a family must feel receiving a notice from us, public servants, informing them that they are now part of our nation,” he said.

Rita, John and Franklin are only three of the countless stories that demonstrate how government work and public servants can help build a more diverse, equitable and inclusive country. These efforts demonstrate the important ways in which federal employees can act as stewards of the public trust and commit themselves to the public good.

To tell us why a career in government has been rewarding for you, take the #IServeBecause survey. If you are interested in starting a career in public service, visit gogovernment.org, your guide to considering, applying for and securing federal employment.

Greg Arcuri is a former intern on the Partnership’s Communications team.


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