My name is Charlie Chen, and I moved over to the United States from China, my country of birth, at the age of four. I’ve had an affinity for history ever since I was very young, and that deep interest in the subject matter eventually morphed into an understanding of current affairs and politics once I became older. Armed with that knowledge, and wanting to pay back the country that had offered and given me and my family so much, I knew that I wanted to go into public service.

I genuinely believe that America and her ideals make up what is the greatest country in the world, and what makes me passionate is the preservation of the American Dream. In two words, social mobility: the thing that differentiates the US from so many other places, in the sense that just because you were born in a certain economic status, you don’t have to remain there all your life. I saw it happen with my family, who came over with fifty dollars and now are very successful real estate investors in the Greater Boston area, and sitting comfortably in the upper-middle class echelon.

I applied for the Ward Fellowship because while some people’s passions are education, or healthcare reform, or housing policy, I believe that the preservation of social mobility is unique in the sense that it embodies all of those facets of public service and more. I hope this summer that I’ll learn more about all the different positions and facets of governing that come with the Ward Fellowship’s diverse set of public officials, and become more knowledgeable in all the diverse skill sets necessary to achieve my goals once I personally (hopefully) enter into public service myself.