Michael Syverud is a junior at Saint John's University with a particular interest in social equality. Michael's passion for service reaches across a diverse range of individuals and service groups and is represented by his work with a variety of organizations, including the Hennepin County Jury Office, Boys and Girls Club of Central Minnesota and the Highland Friends Club assisting young adults with physical and/or mental disabilities.
As part of the campus Bonner Leader Program, Michael has made a four-year commitment to participate in frequent service and leadership seminars focusing on community engagement and sustainable development. His work with Kidstop, a school-age child care program for grades K-6, has been the result of that commitment.
Additionally, Michael has been a strong student academically majoring in Political Science, with minors in Hispanic Studies and Communication. He has a President's Scholarship from SJU and is part of our Honors Program. In 2018 he completed both an internship with the city of St. Cloud and an externship with the city of Minneapolis.
I have been engaged in the community almost my entire life. As a child, I was exposed to people of all different backgrounds, something that I attribute to my interest in civic engagement to this day. I personally believe that every person in this country should have the same opportunities to succeed, but also recognize that there are limits on those opportunities for many people. As an agent of change, I hope to make the opportunity gap for people much smaller. I am passionate about helping children realize their full potential, as childhood is the biggest platform to success later in life. I am also passionate about helping those with mental and physical disabilities, as they are often overlooked in our society. People with disabilities have just as much to contribute as someone without a disability, and I am passionate about helping them find their abilities. A future career in government is another opportunity to make change, but it is a career that requires a whole-world view. Working with children and people with disabilities provides me with this view and prepares me for a successful future as a change maker.