Happy Fellows Friday!

Over the past three months, the majority of Virginia state employees have transitioned to teleworking from their homes.  It has been a major adjustment for many during a time filled with such uncertainty and fear; however, the noble and selfless group of individuals we call our public servants never skipped a beat and continued to dedicate themselves to serving the wonderful citizens of Virginia.  Through their continuous commitment and faithful service, they unquestionably have made an invaluable impact on the Commonwealth.  And I, for one, am honored to be a part of such an altruistic group of individuals who demonstrate such behavior.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”  Throughout the first 12 months of my fellowship, I have found this quote to best represent my experience working as a public servant.  It has been a privilege to work with some of the most passionate, dedicated, and engaged individuals who work solely for the citizens and on behalf of “the Old Dominion.”  The experience has been remarkable and I hope that it is just the beginning of my exciting life-long journey as a civil servant.

In times of crisis, what people need most is hope.  Hope that there are people that care who truly want to make a difference.  Hope that, by uniting, we can overcome the obstacle in our way and that it, too, shall pass.  Hope that someone will reach out a helping hand to a person in need.  Hope is what public servants provide us in times like these.  Knowing that there are individuals who sincerely believe in working for the public good and have a fiery desire to shape a better future for all brings me hope.  To all the public servants out there, thank you for your unwavering sacrifice and dedication.  During time of darkness, your hope is the light that shows us the path forward.

Joey Roman is a Virginia Management Fellow currently serving at the Virginia Retirement System (VRS).