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Meet the Scholars 2019: Joshua Vasko

It’s no secret that for most people, quality of life stems from the community one was raised in; their home. Growing up, I pledged allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. I know that for some, this practice may have simply meant reciting words, but for me, it was a pledge to my community – that I would work hard to support and protect those I love.

Over the course of my short life, I have seen the rapid expansion of what ‘home’ is. Just as my father roamed the neighborhood when he was a child, growing up I was able to connect with essentially anyone in the world. Within a society where technology is ubiquitous, I wonder about the infinite possibilities it presents – and to be frank, movies and books did not help too much to temper my imagination.

I truly believe that we as a country are at a precipice concerning technology. The future of tech has the potential to form a new world, whether for better or for worse, that none of us could imagine in our wildest dreams. That leads me to the question: how can we as a country ensure that we are utilizing these emerging technologies for the better? Abraham Lincoln once stated:

“...from the force of circumstances, the basest principles of our nature, were either made to lie dormant, or to become the active agents in the advancement of the noblest cause – that of establishing and maintaining civil and religious liberty.”

Lincoln’s words, now centuries old, provide a clear roadmap towards how to collectively work together for our nation’s betterment. In this digital age, I believe we must all become active agents in the democratic process to ensure the best for all Americans. That is why I am elated to join TechCongress! The opportunity to be an active agent in protecting the liberty of every US citizen is a blessing I could not pass up.

As a Congressional Innovation Scholar, I have been elevated to a role where I can learn and participate in policy formation at the highest level. I am humbled to have the opportunity to work alongside and learn from established individuals who are going to play a vital role in ensuring the US has tech policy of the highest order to confront the emerging challenges of the ever-evolving digital world. I realize that it’s a tall order to protect our home from threats we haven’t confronted yet, but I am motivated and ready to give it my all!