Two University of Central Florida students are experiencing firsthand how the state government operates through the prestigious Gubernatorial Fellowship program.

Adam Giery and John Phillips won two of the state’s 13 fellowships in a highly competitive process that included 150 applicants. The criteria included outstanding leadership skills, strong written and oral communication skills, community activism and a desire to serve the people of Florida.

The Gubernatorial Fellows are assigned to the Executive Office of the Governor and various state agencies based on their majors or areas of concentration. They work a minimum of 20 hours each week, and they are paid. The fellowships began Aug. 16, and they will conclude May 13.

Giery, a graduate student in Higher Education & Policy Studies, holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Science Education from UCF.  He is working with the Department of Education’s Division of Florida Colleges.

Phillips is a graduate student in Political Science at UCF. He received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Flagler College. He is working with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

The fellows meet weekly as a group to participate in educational activities such as presentations, press conferences, budget briefings and policy briefings.

“I commend these outstanding students for their achievements in the classroom and their enthusiasm for serving the people of Florida,” said Gov. Charlie Crist. “Public service is an honor, as well as a great responsibility, and the Gubernatorial Fellows program is a unique way for students to gain valuable on-the-job experience while learning about the positive impact public service has on the lives of all Floridians.”