As a fifth-generation Arkansan, Booneville native Kayley Corley never imagined herself living anywhere else. But when she was awarded a prestigious John Paul Hammerschmidt Fellowship during her senior year at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, that all changed.
Corley earned a political science degree in May of 2017, and following her graduation, spent the summer working in Congressman Steve Womack’s Washington, D.C. office as a UAFS JPH Fellow.
“Those six weeks in D.C. were some of the most challenging of my life, but if it weren’t for the JPH Fellowship, I wouldn’t have had the courage to come back to D.C.,” she said.
Corley, who recently earned her master’s degree in public service and administration from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, is back in D.C., this time as a full-time legislative correspondent for Congressman Bruce Westerman. Corley says she is thrilled to be able to make a significant impact in her home state.
“I love Arkansas, and making sure Arkansans’ voices are being heard is one of the best things about my life.”
In addition to working for Congressmen Womack and Westerman, Corley has also previously served as an intern for Senator John Boozman, and she attributes a great deal of her success in government to her time at UAFS.
“I would not be in the position I am now without the network I built at UAFS,” she said. “I was never ‘only a student’ at UAFS. There were countless people who saw something in me and chose to invest in me. UAFS was never just a school. It was a community and a home.”