Palm Beach Atlantic University graduate Adam McKinney had a plan, but as he puts it, God had another.
This summer, McKinney left his job at First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach, where he had worked since 2007 as the children’s ministry associate. He went home to Gainesville for a week, and from there he was headed to Boston for graduate school. The former student government president and graduate of PBA's Supper Honors Program plans to pursue a master’s degree in public administration and eventually a law degree.
On the Friday night before he was scheduled to depart, McKinney attended the homecoming football game at his high school. There, he ran into a family friend whose husband served in the Florida Legislature. She told McKinney to contact her husband about an open position on his staff, which he did.
After the conversation, McKinney said he prayed about whether to postpone his trip. "God just worked it all out between Friday and Tuesday," said McKinney, who received the job as an aide to Rep. W. Keith Perry, R-Gainesville.
In the subsequent weeks, McKinney hit the ground running. He works on a newsletter for constituents of District 22, which includes parts of Levy, Alachua and Marion counties. He also handles constituent services and correspondence, district finances and social media. He also attends events, meetings and hearings, and he provides legislative help.
"That’s our job, to be the voice of what’s going on in Tallahassee," said McKinney, who graduated in December 2010 with a degree in political science.
McKinney took an interest in state government as a college student, serving as a Presidential Fellow for the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida. ICUF’s Presidential Fellows organize student-led campaigns in support of independent higher education in general and the Florida Resident Access Grant in particular.
In addition to being PBA’s student government president, McKinney was president of the University’s College Republicans.
"Everything I did at PBA definitely prepared me for being in this position," McKinney said. He also has begun working toward his graduate degree this semester, he said.