LIFE UNDER DEVELOPMENT
My name is Kaelan, and there’s only one reason why you’re on my website right now…you’re curious.
That’s okay. Curiosity is the spark that ignites change. Curiosity is the driving force of a true problem solver. Curiosity is what led me to become the person that I am today.
My native roots reach down to sunny South Florida and the small dual-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. My family moved from Miami and settled in Georgia, where I graduated at the top of my high school class and went on to receive my post-secondary education in Political Science and a graduate degree in Public Administration and Policy. Prior to this change in direction, my sights were set on attending law school — but the Universe had other plans.
Not long before I received my first degree, my curiosity got the better of me and I began to take a huge interest in learning how cities and states work. From infrastructure and transportation to public budgeting and sustainability, I knew that my life’s course had changed for the better.
It became even more obvious to me when I landed my first major government job as a city budget analyst. To be so involved in the fiscal policy-making process and creating an entire city’s budget in collaboration with community leaders and stakeholders was quite a thrill. Not only because I was fortunate enough to see “how the sausage is made,” but also because I could see that my work had a visible and tangible impact on the community I served. I took this same excitement with me when I became a departmental operations director and will take it with me when the winds of change blow me elsewhere.
As a public servant, my ultimate goal is to help others and provide the best service that I can for the communities that I call home. I’m a politics and government affairs junkie, so naturally, I am at my most comfortable collaborating with high-powered movers and shakers and those who are in positions of leadership and influence. I am also comfortable working at the grassroots level, with everyday citizens that carry the destiny of our communities in their hands. As such, I hope to one day become a city administrator or state government executive — actively working every day to improve the lives of citizens.
In addition, my desire is to launch a public policy research and consulting group dedicated to providing cities, regions and other organizations with the tools they need to govern more efficiently. See the work that my colleagues and I are doing at StateCrafters.
MY BEST ADVICE
The most lesson-learning point in my life came when I decided to switch career trajectories. For a brief time, I felt lost and unsure of what my next steps would be. Having spent years dreaming and preparing myself for law school, taking the LSAT, and getting acceptances, I didn’t think that I was prepared to go in a completely different direction. However, once I allowed myself to explore all of the new possibilities that came with my new career choice, I’ve vigorously pushed ahead and made it my mission to learn all I can and grow where I was planted.
My advice? If you find yourself at a crossroads, don’t be afraid to follow your passion. It doesn’t matter how much time you took to prepare for what you think you wanted. Life has a way of unfolding in ways we would’ve never imagined. New doors can open and new opportunities can come your way if only you remain flexible, but highly focused, on achieving your goals.
Open yourself to new adventures! You never know where life may lead you.