Benefits Of A Top Summer School Of Public Service
If you haven’t yet entered college and if you aspire to leadership in the public sector or in a related field, such as political science, journalism or public relations, then a top summer school of public service can be a godsend. A group of high-energy, pre-college students gather. They may come from all over the country and even from overseas. They can number 2017 high school grads, rising seniors and rising juniors. Such a school may only meet for a short while, but its benefits can be profound.
The High-Level View
High school is for everybody and equips one to be a citizen generalist. To enter public service or thereabouts is to specialize. But what a vast field is this specialization! It is easy to get lost in this field or miss the mark. Furthermore, it is highly politicized. Many are those who teach you something not because it is true or effective but because it pays them well to teach it.
A top public service school can give you a huge head-start toward being a specialist or leader; it can even position you to be an extraordinary one. It can help you visualize what a possible career choice can mean. It can help you get there. Thanks to both the skills and knowledge imparted in a top school, you will craft a better college curriculum, get much more out of the courses you select and, crown all, better navigate professional life.
Ideally, a public service school is situated in Washington, DC. It offers total immersion in the capital, including the residential (dormitory) option.
Do not mistake a top school with a travel service. Sightseeing is involved but everything has “strategic” value. Two things, above all, are being accomplished. One thing is to improve, moreover, transform your leadership skills. The other is to enable you to explore the American political economy systematically.
A top school, based in the federal city, is inevitably a motivating experience. You are in the very presence of the national leadership. You will meet and talk to junior people—those recently out of school—and to senior people. There is also the insight from seeing where they work and live.
In order to gain deeply from the exploration of Washington, DC, it is necessary to put everything into context. This is where the faculty of a top public service school come in. They don’t merely schedule you with interesting people and facilitate discussions. Collectively, they are superb instructors in government, relevant history and leadership; moreover, as a group they not only hold relevant degrees but also are veterans of the public policy arena and Washington-area employment.
Leadership divides, above all, into critical thinking skills and communication skills. A public service school that is in top form will be sure to impart advanced leadership skills: these are far superior to what is taught in grades 9 to 12; they involve the updated, renowned Classical Rhetoric. Such skills show you how to become a true independent thinker, that is, an expert or authority in your own right, and how to influence a general audience. The dividends of such skills are spectacular and written across the pages of history since the days of the Greeks and Romans.
The aforementioned skills are imparted at the very onset of the top public service school. Consequently, the student can (a) fully appreciate the entire school curriculum, (b) begin practicing these vital skills without delay and (c) have these skills ready the moment they enter college
Systematic, Practical Exploration
The superior public service school is not merely helping you sample the American political economy. It is providing deep, rich context. Systematic exploration requires looking at the whole and the parts. In a sense, you will be taken on a rapid ascent to the very mountaintop of knowledge. The whole refers to the American “system”—the mix of capitalism and republic. Thus you will learn how it works, what its effects are, what it is like and not like, whence it came and where it seems to be going. Above all is this effort to see it as it truly is, as objectively and dispassionately as possible, which, in turn, necessitates the fair use of multiple, important points of view.
The upshot of seeing the whole, the American system, is amazing. You are able to understand the system before professionally entering into it, which, perforce, must have profound implications when choosing one’s exact career. You will gain a better idea of where you could fit in, of where you might want to fit it, even of what changes you might want to cultivate. There is also the appreciation of politics from a fresh perspective. Left and right, liberal and conservative, look differently now; your viewpoint is more balanced; you are coming into your own—as an independent observer and thinker. You also discover that there are more than the conventional two ways to solving the nation’s problems. There is this intriguing enhancement of creativity.
Besides exploring the system that so often carries us along like a strong tide, there is also the contemplation of the parts of the system where you can have your say and exert your influence, which, in turn, takes us to government employment and government-related employment (business, media, academia and think tanks). Some time is even devoted to probing jobs in particular government agencies, such as Congress, Defense, State and so on.
How is all this knowledge and insight, skills and tools, conveyed? The short answer is via a judicious and stimulating mix of tours, strolls, office visits, simulations and seminars. For instance, it is amazing what can be learnt by looking at federal buildings and displays. Also you will bring to life the meaning of government, policy and politics through taking on the roles of famous, powerful personages in historic and contemporary-issue debates. You will enjoy lively discussions, wherein provocative, original sources are the centerpiece. You will be drawn into and speak your mind on the “great conversation” of history—mankind’s unending quest to better society, country and world.
Strictly Fun Too
A top public service school certainly covers a lot of ground! Purposeful exploration is an exhilarating experience. Yet a top school also recognizes that you need and deserve a change of pace, at times. Washington, DC has much to offer in sports and leisure. There will be ballgames to see and fun rooftops views to enjoy and nightlife (always under supervision!) and much more.
School As Social Hub
Ultimately, a top school is a thrilling social hub. The students are interacting with each other. You are making sense together of this magnificent country, of fabulous future opportunities, of great challenges—all this in the context of public service.
Ways And Means
Going to college, or even embarking on self-study or an internship in lieu of college, is expensive. An anticipatory and superior public service school is a tiny fraction of that cost. Yet it can leverage, in terms of skill and knowledge, an entire college education, moreover, an entire career. A summer public service school that provides the highly valuable, total experience is the flagship program of Statesman Debate Institute.