Undergrad is a time for students to develop their leadership skills and gain connections in the professional field. For those interested in leadership and public service, NextGen is a program for undergrad students at IU looking to develop leadership skills and explore ways to incorporate public service into their future careers. Similar programming is being rolled out at other universities across the U.S. Students who complete the NextGen programming will join a prestigious alumni network of future leaders from not just IU, but also across the nation: the NextGen Service Corps.
Though housed in the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, students of all majors are encouraged to join the program. NextGen is designed to teach students about how to apply their majors to the field of public service. Public service can be a part of any career. Whether you’re interested in technology, business, or science, there are many ways for students to make a positive contribution to your community and add meaning to your career through service. The bold initiative empowers a diverse group of young people to commit to public service.
The NextGen leadership program is offering a $500 scholarship for those who complete the program. Scholarship recipients will be involved in the extracurricular activities the program puts on as well as enroll in V260: The Call of Public Service. The class is taught by Tom Guevara, Director of the IU Public Policy Institute.
In V260, students will define public service and identify its different manifestations over time and across societies, explain historical, cultural and social context of public service, examine how individual and social responses to public service affects outcomes, evaluate the connection between public service and students’ personal values and assess incorporating public service into student lives/careers. The class counts for a GenEd S&H credit and is open to those not involved in the program as well.
Stephen Bessasparis, an MPA-MSES graduate student at the O’Neill School, is the Graduate Assistant to the program and an adamant spokesman for NextGen.
“The perfect student for the program would be someone from any major interested in public service for the community and looking to grow their professional and leadership skills,” Bessasparis said. “It is a great opportunity for students to learn how to apply their major skills to real world problems and to join a network of like-minded people who are going to make the world a better place.”
For those interested in making the world a better place, check out the upcoming workshops and seminars, open to all IU undergraduates interested in leadership and public service. The NextGen Kick-off will occur from 6:30-8 p.m. October 4 in the O’Neill first floor commons, featuring Sen. Evan Bayh. Prior to the kick-off, two call-out sessions will be held September 30 for students seeking more information.
Students can join an email list to be notified of upcoming seminars, workshops, retreats, etc. NextGen welcomes all levels of participation. To learn more about the NextGen Leadership Program and sign-up for the email list, visit go.iu.edu/nextgen.