During my years in different branches with various positions in the federal government, I recognized that I am gaining exceptional experiences at the federal level, but not enough in the local area. I believe that the success of any country's operations relies on smooth collaboration and cooperation between the local and national governments. With that recognization, I decided to apply to work for my city government — Jeju Provincial Government — as a Public Policy Citizen Advisor. Concurrently as a Content Strategist for the Ministry of Environment, I began this new position at the city level confident that working at both the local and national levels would teach me several invaluable lessons.
I knew that this would not be easy. Every year, only 4% of the high school students were admitted to this program, and even fewer students finished the program successfully. Fortunately, my experiences working at the national level were perceived as an asset, and I was admitted to become the citizen policy advisor for the Jeju Provincial Government.
After the announcement, all citizen policy advisors were able to collaborate with the Jeju government to monitor provincial and municipal government policies and affairs and local government-sponsored volunteer activities supporting underprivileged populations. After analysis, we would eventually propose government policies, grants, and other programs based on personal study and citizen feedback directly using the government portal.
The term for this program, two years, is relatively longer than other positions inside the government. This is my second year in this program, and out of countless meetings and small events, I would like to share a memorable event that I had the privilege to attend during my 1st year.
December 8th of 2021, the Prime Minister of South Korea and the Jeju Province Governor of South Korea cohosted The Saemaul Undong, also known as the New Community Movement. Initially, it was a political initiative launched on April 22nd, 1970, where federal, local, and town government leaders discussed the urbanization of rural towns.
For this year's event, the agenda was to mobilize town government leaders who had been leading the unification and protection of their communities during the COVID-19 era, such as quarantine, fabric mask production, vaccination assistants, and sharing activities geared toward mental and emotional wellbeing.
The Jeju Government had informed us Public Policy Citizen Advisors that the majority of the population in these towns were elderly residents. A few weeks before the convention, they've asked us to create campaigns that would motivate these elderly populations to get booster shots for the coronavirus vaccinations.
After our project was launched, we began to brainstorm ideas on motivating and spreading the words of booster shot availability to elderlies. With deep considerations, we have decided to create a COVID-19 Health Kit where we would create mini bags consisting of masks, hand sanitizer, oral cleanser, and disinfection wipes. Those boxes included convenient and easily understood instruction manuals on getting booster shots. After creating those kits, we have handed them out to town government leaders so that they would be able to provide them with these kits when they reach back home.
As an inspiring political science student, I felt privileged to be part of both sides of the government, local and federal. I have once written an Independent Research Paper mentored by one of Columbia University graduates, and I decided to write upon the importance of the unification of governments. The scope of that research paper focused on the COVID-19 era, but I felt proud of myself because it seemed like my thesis was being proven to be accurate and stronger through these events.