We the People Alumnus Andrew Landeen Shares How Experience Supports His Career Success

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During his senior year at Fishers High School, Andrew Landeen participated in We the People: The Citizen and The Constitution. The experience prepared him to be a better student, employee, and citizen, and Landeen shares that the experience taught him "how to argue, write, research, speak in public, work with a team and with other people, think critically, think tactically, and consider different viewpoints." Landeen emphasized that these skills were essential to his team's successful argument about the filibuster at the Indiana State competition.  

But that competition was not the end of his journey with civic education. Following his graduation from Indiana University in 2019, Landeen started working for Certell as a research fellow. Certell creates multimedia social studies curriculum on electronic platforms infused with popular media such as Game of Thrones or Parks and Recreation to explain complex concepts in entertaining and relatable ways. His experience with We the People prepared him to tackle this type of work.

Through competing with We the People, Landeen learned the value of a well-informed argument, one that builds on facts and recognizes the audience's perspective. Indeed, he shared that while knowledge of the Constitution is valuable, "it doesn't mean a whole lot if you can't articulate your thoughts and understanding of the subject. You need to be able to explain what you believe and what you know, and you need to understand how other people think about the topic and reach them by appealing to their specific mental framework." 

Landeen applies this philosophy to his content creation role at Certell, stating "we recognize every student and everybody we're trying to reach is not passionate about it [civics], and we try to strike a chord with students by using pop culture and humor as well as showing how government affects their lives, and the value they can gain by having a civic education."

Not only does Landeen leverage his own experience with We the People, but he also relies on a strong We the People alumni network to find interns who help build the curriculum that Certell shares online. He finds working with young people who were involved with We the People is beneficial because they understand what young people are interested in and possess the educational foundation to make factual, compelling content.

In a time when there is a high opportunity cost for students' attention, Landeen calls upon his education and experiences with We the People to overcome barriers to civics education and help inform future citizens in a meaningful and fun way.

You can learn more about Certell by visiting their website.  


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