NextGen Student Ambassador Builds Network around Public Service

Eight NextGen students from four member universities participated in the annual NextGen Service Corps (NGSC) Leadership Conference at Arizona State University (ASU). Caleb is the third person from the right.

By Caleb Rasmussen, a NextGen Civic Leader Corps Ambassador from the University of Washington Bothell.

I had the greatest opportunity to travel to Tempe, Arizona, this February, for the 2024 Next Generation Service Corps Leadership Conference at Arizona State University (ASU).

The first day of the conference I had the pleasure to get to know my fellow ambassadors as well as representatives of the Volcker Alliance. The second day was an incredible networking experience where I gained knowledge about public service careers tailored to my interest. ASU’s NextGen conference had invited several organizations, such as Sandy Hook Promise, to speak and give advice on the public service sector, and just how important it is for students to get involved with programs such as NextGen.

Caleb (right) talks with other ambassadors during conference
Caleb (right) talks with another Ambassador

My favorite part of the conference was listening to NextGen alumni speak on their experiences within the NextGen program and how they applied their experiences to their current careers. I had the opportunity to meet with an alumna who served the 2020 Biden Administration and her insights into public service proved very motivating! The keynote speaker at the conference was Evan Moss, who gave a wonderful and passionate speech about anti-racism in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.

My biggest takeaway from the leadership conference was the structure and potential of the NextGen program. ASU’s 2024 NextGen cohort had well over 300 students, all with specialized roles and ‘team missions’ focused on several aspects of public service and community outreach.

The potential we have at UW Bothell is prodigious. As the ambassador of UW Bothell’s first NextGen cohort the experience I gained from this conference will prove valuable in developing the structure for future cohorts at UW Bothell.