by Erica Baumgardner '16
Political science major and men's soccer player Charles Harned '16 recently accepted an internship position with the White House, an opportunity that has helped him explore his passion for politics and helping those in need.
"There is nothing that motivates me more than being able to help someone who is struggling or give a voice to someone who is voiceless ... it's what gets me out of bed in the morning."
Harned explains that politics is a necessary tool for motivating positive changes in the lives of others.
"People sometimes only see the end product of what elected officials say and do, but politics is so much larger than that. Virtually every positive reform is affected by the world of politics," Harned explained.
Although he admitted that the notion of working with the White House staff was initially intimidating, Harned felt prepared for the challenge with his experience in the classroom and on the soccer fields at Knox.
"I tried to think of it like a sporting event. I get nervous before big soccer games, but Coach Edwards has really taught me to focus only on the things I can control. I can control how hard I work and my attitude whether I'm on Jorge Prats Field or at the White House."
Harned also made note of the valuable relationships he has established with professors, including his advisor, Lane Sunderland, professor of political science and international relations.
"Perhaps the most important thing Professor Sunderland has done for me is that he helped me find my voice. Whether in my essays or class discussion, Professor Sunderland found the perfect balance of affirming my thoughts and challenging the process I took to get there," Harned said.
When he isn't hard at work, Harned spends his down time exploring Washington D.C. and visiting the capital's monuments.
"Washington has some of the most famous memorials and monuments in the world. I've already been to a handful and I plan on going to many more as the weather gets nicer," Harned explained, citing the Lincoln Memorial as his favorite.