The Path of Service: From Dishwasher to Presidential Management Fellow

Amos Ellis, Jr. (BASS 07, MPA 09), recently honored as a Presidential Management Fellow,  has a long history with Belhaven University. He explains, “My first encounter with Belhaven was fishing at the pond on campus with my grandmother.”  His grandmother, who was a Belhaven employee, introduced him to his first “real” job at 16, as a dishwasher for the Belhaven cafeteria. He was excited to pay for his school clothes out of his own earnings that year, but he had no idea that Belhaven would continue to play an important role in his future for years to come.

After a stint in the military, Amos found himself back in Jackson working during the day and attending the Belhaven Aspire program at night, first as a Bachelor of Arts in Social Services (BASS) undergraduate, and then as a Master of Public Administration (MPA) graduate student. Belhaven impacted his life both outwardly and inwardly during these years. It was here that he met and married his best friend, Dorcas T. Ellis, and it was also at Belhaven where his worldview thinking was honed. He says, “Obtaining an understanding of the Christian Worldview, which is incorporated into every class/course curriculum at Belhaven, helped me to see that God is love, and that love is what love does.  It caused me to see how all things can be conquered through love – locally,  globally, internal and external.”

Amos’ passion for serving others is what drew him to the MPA progam. He excelled in this program, and after graduating in December 2009, he received the honor of a lifetime when he became a finalist in the Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF) program, which seeks to attract to the Federal service outstanding men and women who have a commitment to excellence in the leadership and management of public policies and programs. Out of a pool of nearly 10,000 applicants, 883 people were chosen to become fellows in this prestigious two-year paid internship. Amos is the only fellow from the state of Mississippi.

Dr. Ervin Martin, MPA Program Director, remarks. “Amos Ellis is an aspiring public servant who has excelled in the MPA program at Belhaven University. As a Finalist for the Presidential Fellowship in Management, Mr. Ellis has demonstrated his personal desire to serve others through his professional development. We believe that Mr. Ellis will achieve everything God has in store for him in his desire to serve others.”

With a path marked with service from beginning to end, Amos Ellis exemplifies the Belhaven motto by seeking  “to serve, not to be served.”  Congratulations on your hard-earned success, Amos!

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