For DonorsFor Applicants
user profile avatar

Jack Finnegan

4195

Bold Points

9x

Nominee

1x

Finalist

Bio

Firefighter, Student, Change Maker I like a challenge. So much so that I took my liberal arts degree from Loyola Maryland and entered a technical and management position at Northrop Grumman. I am using my Jesuit education to better communicate with my peers who have decades of experience in engineering, understand complex systems, and lead small teams. As a volunteer firefighter, I know that determination, persistence, and communication is the key to being an effective team member. I consider myself a public servant and enjoy helping people in and out of my community to improve their lives. That’s why I am pursuing my Masters in Legislative Affairs at The George Washington University so I can be proactive in the political realm to help as many people as I can.

Education

George Washington University

Master's degree program
2021 - 2023
  • Majors:
    • Public Policy Analysis
    • History and Political Science
    • Legal Research and Advanced Professional Studies

Loyola University Maryland

Bachelor's degree program
2016 - 2020
  • Majors:
    • Political Science and Government
  • Minors:
    • Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution

Hopewell Valley Central High School

High School
2012 - 2016

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Public Policy Analysis
    • History and Political Science
    • Political Science and Government
    • Marketing
    • Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs, Other
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Public Policy

    • Dream career goals:

      Congressional Staff

    • Sales & Mechanic

      Hart's Cyclery
      2013 – 20163 years
    • Field Intern

      Baltimore City Council Campaign
      2019 – 20201 year
    • Field and Policy Advisor

      Maryland State Delegate Campaign
      2021 – Present3 years
    • Project Management

      Northrop Grumman
      2020 – Present4 years
    • Constituent Services Intern

      United States House of Representatives
      2016 – 2016
    • Legislative Intern

      United States Senate
      2019 – 2019

    Sports

    Cross-Country Running

    Club
    2021 – Present3 years

    Research

    • Political Science and Government

      Loyola University Maryland — Researcher
      2020 – 2020

    Arts

    • Photography
      Loyola Corridors Magazine 2019 , Loyola Corridors Magazine 2020
      2017 – Present

    Public services

    • Advocacy

      Loyola Student Government Association — Director of Academic Affairs
      2017 – 2018
    • Advocacy

      Loyola Student Government Association — Vice President for Policy & Advocacy
      2019 – 2020
    • Volunteering

      Be The Match — Stem Cell Donor & Advocate
      2021 – Present
    • Public Service (Politics)

      Hopewell Township Youth Advisory Board — Member & President
      2012 – 2016
    • Volunteering

      Union Fire Company & Rescue Squad — Firefighter
      2012 – Present

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Chief Lawrence J. Nemec Jr. Memorial Scholarship
    BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!!! The pager on my bedside table jolts me awake, and I listen to the emergency dispatch: residential fire alarm. I rub my eyes and look at the clock: 3:26 AM. “Alright, let’s go,” I tell myself as I jump out of bed, slip on my shoes, and race to the fire station. As a volunteer firefighter, I rarely get a full night’s sleep. Meals and holidays are frequently interrupted. Family and friends often ask why I do it. I respond, “wouldn’t you want someone showing up at your door in an emergency?” I just happen to be among those who show up. I get it from my parents. My father was a New Jersey State Trooper and kept communities safe. My mother is a public school teacher and puts in so much time beyond the eight hours in the classroom for her students. They instilled in me the value of community service and of giving part of yourself to the greater good, and thankfully, my family was rooted in a community dedicated to service. For the past ten years, I have served my community as a volunteer firefighter. The fire company is my second family. The brave men and women I volunteer with as firefighters and EMTs sacrifice much more than their time to serve our community. They inspire me every day, and I would not be the person I am today without their support and guidance. They keep me motivated and they help me pull up my bootstraps when the going gets tough. I have volunteered thousands of hours over the years and missed countless family gatherings and good nights’ sleep, yet I would never trade it for anything. I have learned innumerable lessons – not just about being a good firefighter, but a good person and public servant. Firefighting is a trying job. I see people during their most frightening and devastating moments: motor vehicle collisions, house fires, and medical emergencies. This taught me the importance of professionalism and courtesy as I do my job to make them feel safe. When our 20-ton, bright red fire engine pulls up and my crew and I jump out, I see relief and gratitude wash over their faces. They are my neighbors. We recognize each other, and we are committed to each other. Our communities need good people. I, and many others, continue to answer the call to serve. Yes, losing hours of sleep and being groggy at work is no fun, but working with good people and being able to help my neighbors in their time of need is the most fulfilling work I could ever do. It has taught me who I am and who I want to become, and I know that when I work hard and put people first, the greater chance I have to succeed and help my community succeed.
    North Carolina Youth Equine Service Scholarship
    BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!!! The pager on my bedside table jolts me awake, and I listen to the emergency dispatch: residential fire alarm. I rub my eyes and look at the clock: 3:26 AM. “Alright, let’s go,” I tell myself as I jump out of bed, slip on my shoes, and race to the fire station. As a volunteer firefighter, I rarely get a full night’s sleep. Meals and holidays are frequently interrupted. Family and friends often ask why I do it. I respond, “wouldn’t you want someone showing up at your door in an emergency?” I just happen to be among those who show up. For the past ten years now, I have served my community as a volunteer firefighter, and it has been the most fulfilling part of my life.The fire company is my second family. I have volunteered thousands of hours over the years and missed countless family gatherings and good nights’ sleeps, yet I would never trade it for anything. I have learned innumerable lessons – not just about being a good firefighter, but a good person and good public servant. The brave men and women I volunteer with as firefighters and EMTs sacrifice much more than their time to serve our community. They inspire me every day, and I would not be the person I am today without their support and guidance. They keep me motivated and they help me pull up my firefighter bootstraps when the going gets tough. Firefighting is a trying job. I see people during their most frightening and devastating moments: motor vehicle collisions, house fires, and medical emergencies. This taught me the importance of professionalism and courtesy as I do my job to make them feel safe. When our 20-ton, bright red fire engine pulls up and my crew and I jump out, I see relief and gratitude wash over their faces. They are my neighbors. We recognize each other, and we are committed to each other. Every call I respond to further validates my dreams of public service. Helping people is my calling, and I want my career to go beyond responding to emergencies. I combined this validation with my love of history and government and realized pursuing a career in public policy and government service is a great way for me to keep giving back. To achieve these goals, I sought out additional education. My master’s degree in legislative affairs will serve as a launchpad. Not only does it put new opportunities within reach, it teaches me the skills and gives me the confidence I need to succeed in those roles. Our communities need good people. I, and many others, continue to answer the call to serve. Yes, losing hours of sleep and being groggy at work is no fun, but working with good people and being able to help my neighbors in their time of need is the most fulfilling thing I have ever done. It has helped teach me who I am and who I want to become, and I know that when I work hard and put people first, the greater chance I have to succeed and help the community succeed.
    William M. DeSantis Sr. Scholarship
    As a young and excited new firefighter, I needed to attend every drill, take every class, and make sure that I was in the area to respond to every call. At least, that is what I thought. I had been spending so much of my time at the station and waiting around for calls that I did not realize I was getting in my own way. I was skipping out on time with friends and family because there might be a call, and I would need to respond. I felt a huge obligation to the fire department and my community, and I was starting to pay for it in my personal life. My Assistant Chief recognized this in me because he felt it himself when he was my age. One day several years ago, I volunteered for an extra overnight shift, and he took me aside and told me, “The firehouse has been here long before you, and it will be here long after you.” That short sentence has had a profound impact on my perspective not just of the firehouse but more generally on life. I always give my fullest to any task or organization, and that tends to be more than I can handle. It overwhelms me, and I miss out on other things because I feel a self-imposed obligation to do more. Sometimes, that even results in being unable to perform my absolute best at any of the tasks. This lesson helped me realize that I am not the linchpin in most things; if I step back, someone else will step up and the wheel will keep rolling. Stepping back and looking from a higher level, I now know that my contributions - no matter their size - still have an impact. The wise words from my Assistant Chief also helped me find balance. As I continue to grow as a young man, I find myself taking on more responsibilities: a full-time job, graduate school at night, and volunteering on a local political campaign to name a few. I am more upfront with myself, my friends, and my colleagues about what is feasible for me and what may be more of a stretch. I continue to strive to perform to a high standard and contribute the most that I can; however, I have become better at recognizing what I cannot do. Acknowledging my limitations has made my work more effective overall and more meaningful to me. There will always be more work, and I will not always be able to do it. Focusing on what I can do and allowing things I cannot do to pass by has brought the balance to my life that I need to focus on my work and most importantly, my friends and family.
    Bold Generosity Matters Scholarship
    “That is so generous of you,” my mother would say as guests to a party arrived with food or wine. As a young boy, generosity seemed to mean bringing people things such as food, gifts, or money. As I got older, I started to realize that giving people things was more being nice than it was generous - especially when I understood bringing food to a party is just a social norm. As I grew up, formed new relationships, and read more books, I arrived at a different understanding of generosity. This form of generosity goes hand in hand with selflessness and empathy. I find the most generous people are willing to give up their time to support others without asking anything in return because generosity is not transactional. These people are among the most empathetic because when they show up, they are fully there. They do not just listen to you, they hear you. Not everyone is generous in the way that meets this description, and generosity is not absolute. That is where finding the generosity in yourself is invaluable - giving people who you know to be generous the space to have their moments. Luckily, I believe generosity is contagious. When we show others our selflessness and our empathy, it does more than make them feel better. Those good feelings will fan out. We emulate good people. When someone is generous to us in selfless and empathic ways, we are more likely to be that way toward others. Generosity may first appear to be small individual actions, yet ultimately, it can change entire communities.
    Bold Goals Scholarship
    Graduating from college during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic initially put my goals on hold. It was challenging to find a job, and the job I eventually took had little relation to my political science degree or what I had anticipated coming out of college. However, I did not let that deter me from reaching my major goal of a career in public service. The job I took offered flexibility, so I began my Master’s in Legislative Affairs at The George Washington University. With this degree, my goal is to become an aide to a legislator either in Washington, D.C. or my state capital in Annapolis, Maryland. I have always wanted to help people. From becoming a volunteer firefighter in my hometown to being on the student government in college, I always looked for opportunities to make a difference. For me, working in government is a great form of service and is a way for me to both engage with my community and work on legislation to improve their lives. To reach this goal in addition to my master’s degree, I have been volunteering on a Maryland State Delegate campaign in Baltimore City. By doing this, I am able to engage more with my neighbors to understand their concerns. I hope to translate this experience to my end goal of helping them in the halls of government.
    Bold Nature Matters Scholarship
    I was fortunate to grow up across the street from a 1,000 acre state park. As a kid, I was bummed that I did not live in a neighborhood and had to drive 20 minutes to see most of my friends. However, looking back, I gained a deep appreciation for nature and all its wonders. Coming back from school, I would drop my backpack in my house, get on my bike, and ride away into the woods. I learned the trails in the park like the back of my hand. Over the years, I watched as the park changed. Old trees died and fell, new trees started growing, and the curves of the streams were slowly eroding the ground and changing the makeup of some of the trails. Since those bike rides as a young kid, I have been involved in efforts to keep nature clean and pure. Whether it is picking up trash, pulling vines to prevent tree loss, or teaching my little cousins about different types of plants, I make an effort to make sure my experience with nature can continue with younger generations. When I go back home, I walk my family’s new dog through the same woods I rode my bike through as a kid. The crisp air and cool breeze, the smell of cut grass, and the rustling of bushes as deer prance by flood my mind with childhood memories. I am glad I did not grow up in a neighborhood. As much as I would have loved to walk up the block for a slice of pizza, I much rather would like to walk between the trees.
    Bold Persistence Scholarship
    Attending the Fire Academy when I was just 17 years old has been the most challenging thing I have done in my life. I had been a junior member of my fire department for three years, and I was unsure if I would be able to get through it. I was small, not terribly strong, and intimidated by some of the skills I would need to learn. The first couple of months was mostly bookwork and lectures. That gave me confidence because I was used to that from school. When we started practical exercises and increasingly physical drills, I was again shaken a little. I thought back to the lectures and remembered my instructors repeating that you do not need to be Arnold Schwarzenegger to be a firefighter - you just need to know the technique. Before Academy drills, I would study the book and watch videos online. I was persistent in my studying so when it came time to do the drills, I felt comfortable in the skillset and with some repetition, was able to successfully pass all of the skill tests. By the end of the six months, I graduated from the Fire Academy with a new sense of self-confidence. I pushed myself and know that it was not a walk in the park, but my persistence got me through it. That persistence stays with me when I feel intimidated about learning new skills at the firehouse, but now I have additional training in swiftwater, vehicle extrication, and fire apparatus operation, and I know that when I put my mind to something, I can accomplish it.
    Bold Study Strategies Scholarship
    I have been playing piano for almost as long as I have been a student. I have learned classical, jazz, and even rock and roll. What does this have to do with studying? Playing the piano has taught me that I can accomplish anything when I put my mind to it. When I am doing homework or studying and come across topics I cannot get my head around, it stresses me out. To relieve that stress, I sit at the piano behind my desk, and I play something. I remember first learning the piece - when it was all a bunch of intimidating black dots on an ivory white page. Through practice, I learned how to play the songs I love reciting today. I play a song or two and sit back at my desk. The piano gives me a boost of confidence that takes me through the problems I was struggling with. Admittedly, I still struggle with them, but the piano reminds me that with enough time and practice, I can figure it out and one day even enjoy that work.
    Bold Wise Words Scholarship
    As a young and excited new firefighter, I needed to respond to every call, attend every drill, and spend all my free time at the firehouse getting to know the equipment. At least, that is what I thought. I had been spending so much of my time at the station. I was missing events, time with friends and family, and I started to feel bad when I could not respond to a call. My Assistant Chief recognized this in me because he felt it before, and he told me, “The firehouse has been here long before you, and it will be here long after you.” That short sentence from several years ago has had a profound impact on my perspective on life and not just regarding the firehouse. I always give my fullest to any task or organization, but that tends to be too much than I can handle. It overwhelms me, and I miss out on other things because I feel a self-imposed obligation to do more. Stepping back and looking from a higher level, I know that my contributions - no matter their size - still have an impact. Thanks to my Assistant Chief, I have found balance in what I get involved with and do not sacrifice those aspects of my life which are irreplaceable.
    Bold Speak Your Mind Scholarship
    My girlfriend told me that she did not like my red plaid shorts when I broke them out for the summer. I was bummed and joked that I would get rid of them, but I told her they were my favorite pair of shorts, and that I was going to keep wearing them. This small incident of speaking my mind may seem surface level, yet it captures my commitment to myself not matter who or what we are talking about. I have often been nervous to speak my mind because I have lacked confidence in what I was talking about. In conversations with professors or even friends’ parents, I felt dwarfed by their experience and knowledge of a subject. I felt talked down to because I did not know enough to respond or that my opinions had less value. I did not like feeling that way about myself or my positions, so I started doing my own research on topics I was interested in. I read the newspaper and listen to daily news podcasts to stay informed on current events. I am a voracious reader and will check out contemporary and historical book from the library on a variety of topics. Sometimes I even take notes on Post-Its to reinforcean idea. I engulf myself in the topics and practice emulating how to phrase arguments from the readings. Now, when I speak with adults, classmates, and other experienced professionals, I am more confident speaking my mind because I have the tools to defend my positions and carry out conversations on a wide variety of topics.
    Bold Hope for the Future Scholarship
    The conversation starts with abortion, then moves to the environment, and concludes with gun control. All light topics of conversation, right? In my Legislative Affairs classes at The George Washington University, these topics are just the tip of the iceberg. These topics and more are all things my classmates and I do at work every day. In class, we discuss these policy areas in depth, debate the current legislative proposals, debate them, and consider the possible ways to move legislation through Congress. This is a daunting task for many - including perhaps some Members of Congress - but my classmates tackle these tasks with ease and grace. My classmates give me hope for the future. They are dedicated and motivated public servants seeking to do the most good for our community, our nation, and our world. Some serve in the military, others for advocacy groups, and more still for elected officials. I have more hope because of the diversity in my classroom. The diversity of background, experience, thought, and values all contribute to the fruitful discussion of ideas. More members of minority communities becoming more involved in the process than they ever had the chance to. Knowing that this diverse group of intelligent young people are pursuing public service gives me hope. What connects them all and gives me more hope is that they are all in their 20s and 30s. They all have chosen a career path of public service despite the obstacles. At a time when public trust in government is at historic lows and pay for public service remains low, they are steadfast. Public service is a calling, and it is not for everyone. Others may value lifestyle, travel, or personal wealth, but public servants sacrifice much of that to accomplish something they truly believe in. They identified public service as a way to improve their communities, and they will not stop until they have helped as many people as they can. I know that my classmates are not the only students out there seeking to enter public service. I know there are thousands of students across the country and around the world looking to make a difference in their communities and countries. My classmates give me hope that we will bridge the gap between our divided communities. They give me hope that our political parties can negotiate and pass laws. They give me hope our democratic way of life will prevail.
    Bold Success Scholarship
    Strutting into the classroom wearing a white wig and tricorner hat to the tune of Hail to the Chief, my life changed forever. I gave a presentation to gathered third graders and parents about George Washington, and since then, I have been set on working in the government. As I got older, I moved from New Jersey to Baltimore to get closer to the action in Washington. I earned my bachelor’s degree in political science, volunteered on City Council and State Delegate campaigns, and interned for my Congresswoman and Senator. I started my first job in the city and also started classes at The George Washington University for my master’s degree in legislative affairs. For the last sixteen years, I chased the dream of becoming a professional staffer and advisor to a Member of Congress. After spending six years in Baltimore, I developed a strong connection to Charm City. I have always felt the call to serve, and the nudge to serve Baltimore has grown into my view of success. Before I achieve my childhood dream of working on Capitol Hill, I want to work in City Hall to help bring down violent crime and raise up our young students. I feel grounded in this city and want to give back for all that it has given me. I believe that real success in public service comes from continuously interacting with those you are serving. I want to continue to get to know my city, its residents, and its issues. I want to be part of a solution and see the improvements for people here. I believe that staying in and supporting Baltimore will make me more effective in Washington if I can serve a member of the Maryland congressional delegation and continue to represent Baltimore in Congress.
    Bold Career Goals Scholarship
    Strutting into the classroom wearing a white wig and tricorner hat to the tune of Hail to the Chief, my life changed forever. I sat at the desk at the front of the classroom and gave a presentation to gathered parents about George Washington. Since that third grade presentation, I have been set on working in the government. As a kid, I dreamed of being an elected representative of the people and fighting for change. As I got older, I interned for my Congresswoman and Senator. I started classes at The George Washington University for my master’s degree in legislative affairs. For the last sixteen years, I chased the dream of becoming a professional staffer and advisor to a Member of Congress. To get closer to the action in Washington, I moved from New Jersey to Baltimore. I earned my bachelor’s degree in political science, volunteered on City Council and State Delegate campaigns, started my first job in the city, and my dreams started to change. Before I spent six years in Baltimore, I could not have anticipated the strong connection I developed for Charm City. While I have always felt the call to serve, the nudge to serve Baltimore has grown into part of my career dream, and I do not yet want to abandon it for Washington. Before I achieve my childhood dream of working on Capitol Hill, I want to work in City Hall to help bring down violent crime and raise up our young students. I feel grounded in this city, and I believe that staying in it and supporting it will make me more effective in Washington if I can serve a member of the Maryland congressional delegation and continue to represent Baltimore in Congress.
    Bold Selfless Acts Scholarship
    BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!!! The pager on my bedside table jolts me awake, and I listen to the emergency dispatch: residential fire alarm. I rub my eyes and look at the clock. It reads 3:26 AM. “Alright, let’s go,” I tell myself as I jump out of bed, slip on my shoes, and race to the fire station. As a volunteer firefighter, I rarely get a full night’s sleep. Meals and holidays are even interrupted. Family and friends often ask why I do it. I respond, “wouldn’t you want someone showing up at your door in an emergency?” I just happen to be one who responds. Being a firefighter is no easy task. For the past ten years, I have attended drills, responded to calls, and even sat in a dunk tank as part of a fire safety lesson to serve my community. I exert myself physically and mentally with the work I have to do, and I have dedicated thousands of hours to my community. And I would do it all again in a heartbeat. I get it from my parents. My father was a New Jersey State Trooper and kept communities safe. My mother is a public school teacher and dedicates so much time beyond the eight hours in the classroom to her students. They instilled in me the value of community service and of giving part of yourself to the greater good. Our communities need good people, and I continue to answer the call to serve. Yes, losing hours of sleep and being groggy at work is no fun, but being able to help my neighbors in their time of need is the most fulfilling thing I have ever done.
    Bold Hobbies Scholarship
    A piano has 88 keys. Twelve notes repeated for seven octaves. It seems simple when you break it down until you realize the billions of combinations you can make with those 88 keys. Every time I sit at the piano, I start with a standard: Beethoven, Chopin, even McCartney, and Joel. After I get warmed up, my fingers start to wander into the infinite possibilities which is the piano. I create cords, weave them together, and create something unique. I create something that maybe I alone will ever hear. In this way, the piano humbles me. The piano also reminds me of who I am. It reminds me that, like the song I made up, I, too, am unique and can contribute something. After all, who has not thought that all the good music has already been written? Playing piano started as a hobby and continues to be something I love to play every day, but it has evolved into so much more. The piano comforts me when I am stressed. It provides a musical retreat. It also gives me confidence. Whenever I play, I feel more connected with myself. The sound that fills the room comes from my fingers and from my imagination. When I get up from the piano, I feel joyful and ready to face the world. Plus, who does not love impressing their friends at a party with a few singalongs?
    Bold Relaxation Scholarship
    A breeze brushes across my face. A couple holds hands and smiles. The water laps against the bulkhead. These are all things I experience as I run along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. I run for many reasons: to exercise, to escape my roommates, and often, to free my mind after a long day in the office or evening applying to scholarships. When I run, there is no competition, no manager breathing down my neck; it is just me. Sometimes, I listen to music or a podcast to transport me even farther. Other times, I simply take in the noise of Charm City. I never used to like running. I only ever ran the mile in middle and high school, and that always stressed me out. That changed about a year ago when I started running after work. It was a slow build-up. I did not like it at first, but the next thing I knew, I was going on 45 minute runs and returning home feeling refreshed. Running became something I looked forward to -- even the thought of running when I was stressed out calms me down. When I run, I think. Actually, most times I do not think. I do not consider it running away from my problems because I know they will still be there when I get back. Running calms me down and motivates me. After a run, I can tackle anything.
    Bold Talent Scholarship
    I see light. Streaking across the wall. Glistening on the water. Showering down between the clouds. Many people ignore light. It is everywhere, and they use it as a simple tool to see. As a photographer, light is more than a tool; light is everything. I practice my photography most when I do not have my camera. Wherever I am, I am constantly recognizing the lighting. It portrays mood and captures the essence of a subject. Therefore, I am always considering how objects and people change as they are hit by different types of light to become a better photographer. When I do walk around with my camera, I enjoy practicing the art of -- as presidential photographer Pete Souza calls -- making a photograph. I focus on a subject to capture and make a photograph in as many ways as I can. I adjust the aperture, shutter speed, zoom, and how I am framing it among other things. Repeating this has helped me instinctively adjust my camera so I do not fumble when I see the perfect shot. Of course, I do not always get the shot I was hoping for. I think I took a great picture, but when I look at it when I get home, it was not as good as I imagined. My main subject is not in focus, there is too much sun glare, or it may just not capture the feeling I had in the moment. Sometimes I feel discouraged, but I continue making photographs. I find it peaceful, and when I make that perfect photograph, I feel accomplished and motivated to make more. I will always be practicing photography as I explore and share the world through my lens.