Jay Philbrick, an alum of the 2020 Virtual Summer Intensive for Hindi, has been awarded a highly-competitive Truman Scholarship, receiving a graduate school scholarship and professional development programming to prepare for a career in public service. Jay credits his NSLI-Y experience with helping instill in him his interest in public service and to develop a broad global outlook.

Growing up in rural Maine, Jay strove to take advantage of every opportunity to learn more about government and politics, including participating in the U.S. Senate Youth Program and serving as a Senate Page. His interest in NSLI-Y stemmed from his desire to learn more about governance internationally as well as an interest in better understanding his Indian heritage and culture. His education often lacked a global focus, and he believes that NSLI-Y was able to fill this gap that he felt in his education. He credits the support of his parents, teachers, and advisors for making his participation in NSLI-Y possible.​

One of Jay’s fondest NSLI-Y memories is participating in a virtual dance class on the final day of classes. He jokingly describes himself as “not a natural dancer,” but noted that he was able to step out of his comfort zone and enjoy the opportunity. Additionally, he was strongly impacted by his final project, through which he compared American and Indian governmental institutions to better understand their differential origins and how their structures impacted governmental outcomes. He still uses what he’s learned about India’s government in discussions regarding current affairs and feels that he has gained a better understanding of how to generate governmental change through completing this project.

Currently, Jay is studying economics, applied mathematics, and computer science at Brown University. He focused on economic affairs and policy throughout his studies and internships, including interning at the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, the Federal Reserve, and the U.S. State Department's Office of Monetary Affairs. Jay is passionate about building his economic research skills to better understand what economic policies help people, and how he can help those policies be implemented. While much of the work that he has done has had a domestic focus, Jay credits NSLI-Y with opening his eyes to the broader space of international development and international economics. ​

After graduation, Jay hopes to pursue a law degree and a PhD in economics. He believes that, through this combination, he will be able to learn both what economic policies result in the most benefit, as well as how to structure and scale economic programs and how to ensure that economic policies fall within legal constraints. He hopes to be able to implement effective governmental economic programs and, as a public servant, be able to give honest and thoughtful advice about how the most people can be helped. Jay hopes to work in the federal government as an economist, in academia, or a think tank. Jay strongly believes in giving back to others locally, domestically, and internationally, and hopes to use this as a guiding principle throughout his career.

For others interested in public service, Jay highlights that there are so many ways to get involved, noting that, “for any given interest you have, there is a way to make an impact with that interest and knowledge in the public sector.” He encourages other young people to get involved in government, as it’s important that a diversity of perspectives and voices be heard in public service. Jay believes that the skills he gained from NSLI-Y are relevant for careers in the public and private sector, as “having a better understanding of cultures and how other countries work is a skill that will always be in demand.”