Volcker Alliance and City University of New York Recognize Winners of Second Annual Paul A. Volcker Careers in Government Essay Contest

The Volcker Alliance

Contact: Neilia Stephens, Director of Communications


This year’s essay contest winners and finalists aspire to make an impact in the public sector, in fields ranging from architecture to archaeology

NEW YORK, NY (February 10, 2021) – Today, the Volcker Alliance and the City University of New York (CUNY) announced the winners of the second annual Paul A. Volcker Careers in Government Essay Contest, Jungah Ahn and Evana Said. The Volcker Alliance hosted this contest in partnership with CUNY to recognize and support students who aspire to careers in public service.

“Now more than ever, we need a talented and diverse pipeline of graduates to join the public service. This year’s winners and finalists exemplify a commitment to the public good and to exceling in their chosen disciplines,” said Thomas W. Ross, Volcker Alliance president. “Our founder, Paul Volcker, would be so pleased that thoughtful, innovative young people, like these CUNY students, are inspired to use their talents to solve the challenges facing our nation.”

The two essay contest winners, Jungah Ahn and Evana Said, were selected from a competitive pool of nearly 150 submissions.

Ms. Ahn is an honors computer science and mathematics major at Hunter College. Ms. Ahn is an intern in the Manhattan Borough President’s Office and hopes to use her talents to empower underrepresented groups to seek careers in technology. In her essay, Ms. Ahn discussed her interests in ethical tech, data privacy, and cybersecurity. She could see herself eventually applying her knowledge to work in the federal government for the National Security Agency.

Ms. Said is a student at The City College of New York studying architecture and legal studies. In her essay, Ms. Said reflected on how growing up in Brooklyn showed her how design and law affect New York City’s inhabitants. She hopes her work in the public sector can contribute to mitigating climate change and helping marginalized communities.

In addition, three finalists were selected in recognition of their excellent writing skills and passion for making a difference. Doreen Ahumah, an early childhood education major at the Bronx Community College, intends to start her career as a public school teacher and eventually become a political representative; Alexander Huaylinos, an anthropological archaeology major at The City College of New York, plans to work in heritage preservation, repatriation, and restorative justice for Native American communities; and Deana Yu, a public affairs major at Baruch College, is already hard at work using her visual design skills in social justice activism and advocacy in New York City.

“The winners and finalists of this year’s Paul A. Volcker Careers in Government Essay Contest, representing four different CUNY campuses, epitomize the University’s core values of excellence and equity,” said CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “These CUNY students are our future civic and government leaders, and they are passionate about making our city and country—and indeed the world—a better place for all. We could not be prouder of them or the goals they have set for themselves.”

The two winners will each receive $5,000, and the three finalists will each receive $1,000. In addition, all winners and finalists will receive one-on-one career coaching and support from CUNY and the Volcker Alliance.

The Volcker Alliance empowers the public sector workforce to solve the challenges facing our nation. The nonprofit, nonpartisan organization is inspired by the legendary public service of our founder, Paul A. Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, and his vision of a public sector workforce with the experience, preparation, and commitment to ensure government is accountable and delivers with excellence. Visit volckeralliance.org to learn more. Follow us on social media @VolckerAlliance and subscribe to the Volcker Alliance newsletter for the latest news and developments. The Volcker Alliance is a 501(c)(3) organization.

The City University of New York is the nation’s largest urban public university, a transformative engine of social mobility that is a critical component of the lifeblood of New York City. Founded in 1847 as the nation’s first free public institution of higher education, CUNY today has seven community collegeseleven senior colleges, and seven graduate or professional institutions spread across New York City’s five boroughs, serving 500,000 students of all ages and awarding 55,000 degrees each year. CUNY’s mix of quality and affordability propels almost six times as many low-income students into the middle class and beyond as all the Ivy League colleges combined. More than 80 percent of the University’s graduates stay in New York, contributing to all aspects of the city’s economic, civic, and cultural life and diversifying the city’s workforce in every sector. CUNY’s graduates and faculty have received many prestigious honors, including 13 Nobel Prizes and 26 MacArthur “Genius” Grants. The University’s historic mission continues to this day: provide a first-rate public education to all students, regardless of means or background.


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