With a servant’s heart and a Master in Public Policy, you can change the world.
That’s more than a slogan for the Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute. It is the truth that drives passionate policy makers and shapers — public servants like Chiquita Moore and Mincy Pollock, who were named the 2019 Master in Public Policy (MPP) Minority Fellows.
Created in 2018 in collaboration with the City of Jacksonville Mayor’s Office and other community leaders, the highly competitive MPP Minority Fellowship seeks to identify, educate, and prepare future leaders in Jacksonville’s African American community. Recipients of the fellowship receive a full-tuition scholarship to earn their MPP degree at Jacksonville University.
“The Minority Fellowship supports the Public Policy Institute’s mission to foster open, meaningful public policy discussion by adding diverse perspectives and voices, which strengthens our ability to collaboratively solve some of the greatest challenges in our community, nation and world,” said Institute Director Rick Mullaney.
For Moore and Pollock, this Fellowship is the rocket fuel that will propel their dream of transforming Jacksonville in meaningful ways.
“After watching the tireless efforts of so many dedicated community leaders throughout the city, my burning desire to do more has increased tremendously,” said Moore, who found herself working in an unsatisfying field after graduating from UNF with a degree in Psychology. “Although I was doing well financially and professionally, I did not feel that I was working to my fullest potential. I have always found solace in helping others, and my corporate job was not fulfilling that need at all.”
That changed, she said, when she met Jacksonville City Councilmember Samuel Newby, At-Large Group 5, who inspired her to take a leap of faith.
“He saw something in me and challenged me to become the best version of myself,” said Moore. She went on to run a successful campaign for Newby, then joined the City of Jacksonville ranks — first as City Council Executive Assistant, then as Intergovernmental Affairs Liaison for Mayor Lenny Curry.
“My life has taken on new meaning in my quest to be a transformational community advocacy leader,” said Moore. “I want to develop skills that will transcend administrations and generations to come.”
For Pollock, shaping public policy in ways that serve all members of the Jacksonville community is a “calling.”
“I have always imagined being a part of the policy making and vision shaping that will bring about great opportunities to help strengthen and enhance our Jacksonville,” said Pollock, a Jacksonville native and Edward Waters College graduate.
Pollock is Founder and CEO of Florida Care Assurance Group and runs The Pollock Group, a public relations and marketing firm. He was recently selected as a member of Leadership Jacksonville, Class of 2020. He also serves the JAX Chamber as a Trustee and member of the Government Affairs Committee.
“I am very grateful to have been selected as a student and [MPP Minority Fellowship] recipient. It is a dream come true,” said Pollock. “I believe Jacksonville is the new ‘Promised Land’ and the training and knowledge I will receive through this program will help make me a stronger leader in the community and in my future political endeavors,” he said, adding “There is no room for failure!”
Ms. Moore and Mr. Pollock will be among the inaugural cohort of the Executive Master in Public Policy (EMPP), an MPP degree track specifically designed for mid-career professionals with at least seven years of work experience. Tailored for individuals working in government, non-profits, education, law, consulting and business, the EMPP assists professionals in advancing their careers and augmenting their expertise, with a focus on public policy understanding, design, and analysis.
“This is a historic initiative that offers a city internship, job placement, industry networking and mentoring opportunities so that we keep the recipients of this fellowship in our community,” said Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry. “It is so important that we keep the best talent here in Jacksonville. This fellowship is a wonderful thing: a double-down commitment for the future and I am honored and so proud of our city.”
Each year, the MPP Minority Fellows are selected by a nine-member advisory board made up of community leaders, government officials, JU Trustees, and other collaborative partners. Applications for the 2020 Minority Fellowship will open in August. Those interested are encouraged to visit www.ju.edu/publicpolicy to learn more and apply.