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Public Service Scholarship
by State Records

The Public Sector

The public sector refers to the segment of the economy responsible for public services and government-run enterprises. These services, like telecommunications, electricity, law enforcement, education, healthcare, and infrastructure development (like bridges, roads, water supply, tunnels, sewers, and public transportation), are publicly funded and cater to tax-payers and non-tax-payers alike. They aim to benefit society collectively and are usually self-supported or non-profit.

The Public Sector’s Role

The public sector in the United States serves multiple purposes, primarily driven by the need for stability and economic advancement. It encompasses essential services like education, the postal system, military defense, and infrastructure maintenance, which benefit society. Due to potential biases or profit-oriented motives, these services would be challenging to assign to private entities.

Across many states, the government functions as a regulator, establishing a framework for private businesses to ensure they operate in the public's best interests. These regulations aim to balance profitability for companies while preventing steep price hikes, as the public relies on these services. Additionally, the public sector plays a role in maintaining economic stability and growth. Government branches can influence economic conditions by adjusting tax rates, managing the money supply, and controlling credit use, helping to moderate extreme economic fluctuations.

Moreover, the government provides direct assistance to individuals unable to support themselves, serving as a safety net for those in need.


Why it matters for today's college students to speak up and contribute their perspectives on the public sector:

  1. Progressive Influence: Millennials entering the public sector bring forward progressive viewpoints and expectations. They seek employers who respect these perspectives, shaping a more forward-thinking environment.
  2. Evolution of Public Works: Involvement in public projects isn't confined to government organizations anymore. Individuals interested in serving the public have diverse options beyond local municipalities. Despite this, the public sector remains crucial for influencing policies, and a shift away from it might affect future legislation.
  3. Blurring Sectoral Boundaries: The distinction between public and private sectors is fading. Students are prioritizing issues or policies over specific roles or professions. Their focus is on finding positions in the public or private domain that allow them to serve their chosen causes effectively.
  4. Changing Regulations: The public sector is undergoing significant changes, including increased concessions. Recent examples include repealing FCC guidelines on net neutrality and challenges to the healthcare strengthening initiated during the Obama era. Regardless of varying viewpoints, these alterations signify a trend of defunding and altering public sector staples that has been ongoing since the 1980s.
  5. Impact on Future Generations: These issues directly affect communication, information access, benefits, and education for younger generations. Millennials need to recognize their role in the public sector as it directly relates to the services they will inherit once the older generation transitions. This understanding is vital for shaping the future landscape of public services.


State Records is pleased to offer a $1,000 college scholarship for the 2024 academic year. The application period commences on September 1st, 2023, and concludes on September 1st, 2024. Interested applicants must complete the application form to enter the contest. The essay component should include a personal statement (explained in the second essay question). Proper citation of all sources used in the essay is mandatory. The preferred writing formats are MLA and APA. Essays must range from a minimum of 1,000 words to a maximum of 1,500 words. Ensure your document includes your first and last name at the top.

Before beginning your essay, it's essential to acquaint yourself with public records.

These records are generated by government bodies to document incidents and events involving government officials and authorities. They encompass court proceedings, police records, property records involving notarization, and vital records detailing marriages as well as related documents. By law, these records are publicly accessible to promote societal transparency and can be accessed online, through local municipal authorities, or via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Essay Questions:1) How can society improve through the use of digital public records?2) As a public employee, how do you believe access to public records can affect you and your community.

Some Topics To Consider
But Are Not Limited To:

  • Public Records
  • Digital Police Reports
  • Background Checks
  • Vital Records
  • Birth Records
  • Death Records
  • Census
  • Court Records
  • City Hall Records
  • Marriage Records
  • Divorce Records