I wanted to serve. We’re at a pivotal point in our country: COVID has exposed and exaggerated big challenges we’re facing, but they’ve been building for decades. I agree with President (Joe) Biden that this is a country that can do absolutely anything … if we truly try. Being a citizen is an active job, though, and I wanted that quality of citizenship to be a bigger part of the way I spend my time. This fellowship struck me as an incredible opportunity to use the skills that I’ve developed in my career, which has mostly been in the private sector, and directly apply them to this great American experiment. I want my whole career to have impact. It’s a unique kind of impact you can have through the work of the federal government. There are so many ways in which the federal government interacts with we the people and I wanted to more practically understand how it actually works, so I can ideally help, in some small way, to make it work better in creating positive impact in the daily lives of people. When I return to my work outside the government, I want to be a good partner both in holding the government accountable, but also in helping the government have the impact that it wants to have on the lives of Americans and on people around the world. I realized that given where I am in my career, this fellowship was a really unique way to contribute. I’m not afraid to roll up my sleeves and do the work. I credit that mentality to growing up in Illinois.