Embodying Public Service, Then Passing it on to Future Generations

Daily Point of Light # 7748 Feb 15, 2024

Meet Daily Point of Light Award honoree Andrew Rich. Read his story, and nominate an outstanding volunteer or family as a Daily Point of Light.

Dr. Andrew Rich, the 1991 Delaware Truman Scholar, epitomizes the essence of selfless public service and leadership. Andrew’s contributions, particularly as board chair for Friends of the Truman Foundation and his role in shaping the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, reflect a life dedicated to advancing the public good.

As board chair of Friends of the Truman Foundation since 2019, Andrew has volunteered his time and expertise as an ardent advocate for public service and public servants. This role involves crucial activities such as organizing events, alumni development, fundraising and enhancing visibility for the Truman Foundation. His efforts have significantly contributed to building a robust community of Truman Scholars and others committed to public service across the nation.

“I grew up in a family where there was always a spirit of service and a belief that it mattered to be part of our community. So, I guess I grew up never thinking I had a choice to be active in the community, a volunteer in whatever way could help make things better,” said Andrew. “Broadly speaking, this is a particularly challenging moment for public service and for our democracy. What we’re doing through Friends of the Truman Foundation is elevating the standing of public service as a profession – as a set of commitments for the next generation of leaders – inspiring them to bring their own ideas and energies, visions and values. Success for the Truman Foundation means elevating their leadership and bringing new people, particularly those whose backgrounds have been historically underrepresented in public service leadership, to these spaces.”

Andrew empowers young leaders to pursue professional career paths in public service.

One of Andrew’s most significant contributions has been the formation of the Truman Council. This group, comprising a network of senior leaders in public service, serves as a testament to his vision of fostering a culture of leadership and service across the United States. The council’s work under Andrew’s guidance has been crucial in advancing the ideals of the Truman Foundation, ensuring that the legacy of public service is not only preserved but also invigorated with new energy and direction. The council’s influence extends beyond mere advocacy, actively participating in shaping policies and initiatives that resonate with the foundation’s mission.

Andrew’s involvement in alumni development and fundraising has been pivotal in strengthening the Truman Foundation’s community. By engaging former Truman Scholars and involving them in the foundation’s activities, he has created a robust network that continually contributes to the foundation’s goals. This network not only supports current scholars but also serves as a rich resource for mentorship, collaboration and professional development. His fundraising efforts ensure the foundation’s ability to sustain and expand its programs, thereby impacting a broader spectrum of aspiring public servants.

“Pretty much everything I’m doing is geared toward developing the next generation of diverse leaders to take power and make a difference in our world,” Andrew shared. “A lot of my volunteer work is in mentoring and supporting young people in their journeys toward professional success.”

At the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York, Andrew has been instrumental in creating an educational environment that nurtures global and civic leadership. The school’s programs, under his stewardship, are designed to equip students with critical thinking skills, a deep understanding of global issues and a commitment to civic engagement. The curriculum and initiatives at the school reflect his belief in the power of education to create leaders who are not only knowledgeable but also empathetic and committed to making a positive difference in the world.

“Our democracy depends on the engagement of those who live under it and in it,” Andrew said. “Part of why I spend so much of my energy in supporting young people as they develop themselves into leaders is my belief that we can do better than we’re doing right now. The younger generation has a set of ideas and expectations for the world they want to live in. So, it’s as worthwhile an effort as I can imagine, to support them in that work.”

Andrew Rich is board chair of Friends of the Truman Foundation and an educator at the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership.

The Colin Powell School, under Andrew’s leadership, emphasizes practical skills and real-world experiences. By incorporating opportunities for students to engage in community service, internships and policy work, the school ensures that students graduate with a well-rounded understanding of their role in society. Andrew’s focus on instilling values of service, leadership and responsibility has made the school a beacon for students aspiring to make significant contributions to public service and global leadership.

To those in public service or aspiring to be public servants, Andrew imparts three pieces of advice: “One, it’s important to stay true and hold on to your values. Reacquaint yourself with what you care most about on an ongoing basis. Two, it is essential to stay in community with others who share your values. Don’t just sit in a room by yourself thinking about those values – talk to others who share them. Find your people, people who inspire you in the same places you want to make a difference. Three, pace yourself. Attend to self-care. It truly is a marathon, not a sprint. Give yourself the time you need to devote to yourself, so that you can make a difference over the long term.”

Dr. Andrew Rich’s journey of service, marked by his leadership in the Truman Foundation and the Colin Powell School, is a shining example of how dedication to public service can effect widespread change. His efforts in nurturing future leaders, building communities of service-oriented individuals, and enhancing educational excellence are not just commendable but inspirational. Through his work, Andrew continues to embody the spirit of leadership and civic engagement, touching countless lives and shaping a brighter future for public service.

Do you want to make a difference in your community like Andrew? Find local volunteer opportunities.

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