By Nance Ebert, Contributing Writer
SHREWSBURY – Max German is one of the youngest members of Shrewsbury’s elected town meeting body. Earlier this year, he also won a prestigious Truman Scholarship award, which recognizes dedication to public service.
Upward of 1,000 applicants regularly vie for this scholarship. This year, German was one of sixty-two individuals chosen by the US Congress from across the country.
As a winner, German receives a monetary award of $30,000 for graduate school. The President of Boston College, where German is currently completing his undergraduate studies, also called to congratulate German.
After graduating Shrewsbury High School and attending Quinsigimond Community College German dropped out to focus on his sobriety. It was then when he realized just how important community truly is. It has also played a key role in his recovery.
“With sobriety under my belt, I had a fresh perspective,” he told the Community Advocate.
German went back to Quinsigamond to study political science.
During a summer internship, he led a voter registration drive across the state for the Massachusetts Democratic Party.
“This internship gave me great leadership experience and helped me identify what I want to continue doing,” German said.
German’s efforts helped identify cities and towns with districts of lower voter turnout. He recruited volunteers who knocked on doors, asking residents to vote.
“I was trying to empower community members within their own community,” he said. “However, the biggest shift for me was that I realized how important it is to be of service to others.”
German managed a food pantry that was just starting up when he first returned to Quinsigimond Community College. After one more year, he then transferred to Boston College.
Then came the Truman Scholarship.
In the first round, there were almost nine hundred students that also applied. German credits his advisor, Kenji Hayao, in being instrumental with the whole process.
“I knew this was a competitive process, and I also had my regular courses, papers, finals and life, in general going on,” German said. “It was pretty challenging, and I needed to stay very focused.”
Writing multiple application essays, some of German’s writing responded to a prompt asking about a public service activity. He specifically reflected on his experience being elected in 2019 as a town meeting member in Shrewsbury.
Having now won Truman Scholarship recognition, German is looking to the future, contemplating law school and the impacts of policy on communities like his own hometown.
“I will continue to help make Shrewsbury the best town it can be,” German said. “I want to strive to get to know it better, [to] talk to my neighbors about its schools, issues, taxes, etc. Community is essential. It builds a thread throughout our lives.”