Ask not, what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.
I wasn't quite born when those immortal words were spoken in what is arguably the most powerful inaugural speeches ever recorded. But they indelibly left an imprint in my parents, who raised their kids with exactly the attitude that the only way we could make the world a better place was by rolling up our sleeves and working towards it. Perhaps it's not so surprising then that my family has a long history of working as public servants and with underprivileged people. It's an attitude that I try to continue with my own kids, and we've volunteered at shelters and work parties for the local Parks & Rec department.
I would hazard a guess that the need for people to work towards a better society is even greater now than it was in 1960. One need only look at the Gulf Coast to know that the work that would formerly been done by the government will not be done without individual help.
The U.S. Public Service Academy will be America's first national civilian university, a flagship institution designed to build a "more perfect union" by developing leaders of character dedicated to service in the public sector.
Modeled on the military service academies, the Public Service Academy will provide a rigorous undergraduate education followed by five years of civilian service to the country. It will develop young leaders with the character, intellect, and experience necessary to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century.