Focusing intently on causes in which he believes is nothing new for Christopher Myers ('12). As a student at Clarion University, he was highly involved. Myers served as a Student Senator, student coordinator for the Center for Leadership and Involvement and student representative to Clarion University Council of Trustees.
Immediately after graduating from Clarion with a bachelor's degree in business administration with a business economics focus, Myers was a summer fellow for the 2012 re-election campaign of President Barack Obama and a political media coordinator for NCC Media in Bethesda, Md. Myers solicited for election volunteers in the Upper St. Clair area, a job that he said was particularly challenging because the area historically votes Republican. While at NCC, he coordinated scheduling of media campaigns on a national level.
A year after graduating from Clarion, the Bethel Park native accepted a position as a development assistant at The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, D.C.
"I work with a team of professionals to improve upon the organization's loyalty-preference position among existing donors and leverage these relationships for introductions to new prospects," Myers said. "Living in Washington, D.C., you learn real quick how to network with other people and connect two people who may be great for each other. The same is true in my job. I have to be able to speak to many ages of people from differing backgrounds, and my coursework at Clarion prepared me for that."
He solicits for individual donors across the country in addition to cultivating current Brady Center sponsors.
"My current work has me presenting to large groups, and Clarion taught me how to do that," Myers said. "(At Clarion) we did a number of teamwork projects and made presentations to larger groups. These are skills I use daily."
The public speaking skills he learned from Dr. Gustavo Barbosa, along with the advisement of Dr. Kevan Yenerall when he interned as a development apprentice in Fairfax, Va., during the summer of 2011, have also been key to his professional development.
In addition to his studies, Myers credits the mentorship of Kelly Ryan, assistant director of the university's Center for Leadership and Involvement as a key influence in his journey. Now, Myers has the opportunity to help Ryan show current students the value of getting involved. Ryan leads a group in which students do site visits and talk with professionals to learn about internships. She took the group to visit Myers in the nation's capitol.
"I advise (current college students) to get your hands dirty and take every opportunity that comes your way and run with it," Myers said. "You don't want to get caught watching 'Roseanne' in the evenings. Get involved."