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Marlie first became aware of the Ward Fellowship when one of her teachers suggested it after they learned she had an interest in public sector work. Before this, most of her interest in the public sector had focused on the medical field and general youth information. That had led her to intersect with various political efforts in a roundabout way, but she’d only had a vague interest in government works before the fellowship that stemmed from her junior work in her Facing History and Ourselves class.
She had contributed previous summers, after school hours, and weekends to the public. During 2005-06, she was a tutor for the Homework Assistance Program through the Boston Public Library. She helped to supplement the work students did in school by filling in the gaps in understanding which left them unable to complete their homework. She was also one of the founding members of the Copley Library Teen Council which has worked to make Copley Library and the libraries programs more available and attractive to youth. As the secretary of the Boston Area Health Education Center youth advisory board, she helped to plan and develop youth health programming. Each of these positions left their own marks and taught her more about the people served.
However Marlie thinks that the lessons she learned this summer about getting things done on a large scale will be with her for the rest of her life. Marlie had toyed with idea of working in the public sector and just dealing with the Representative’s files has shown her the varying degrees and ways in which to do so. The time spent watching Congress in session, political activists at work, on the phone, and at neighborhood events allowed her to release how much a public representative’s job entailed. Marlie’s now confident that she wants to continue public service work, and wants to also raise awareness of the benefits that public involvement can create. Even if Marlie decides to create change on the scale that a doctor affects, Marlie may in the future aim to work as part of the government process. As she’s learned, “It’s true that one person can make a difference, but our world is changed and improved by the many people who are making a difference and the web of good their actions weave.”