Stories of Excellence–Frederick Foster
Frederick Foster believes in serving his community. As a Mitchell student, he pursued a career path in public service. Now as a public figure, he strives to serve others and increase civic engagement.
After graduating from Statesville High School in 1990, Foster decided to continue his education at Mitchell in 1992. He chose to pursue criminal justice and completed the Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) program in 1993. Despite being a first-generation college student, Foster and his siblings all attended college with the encouragement of his parents.
During his time at Mitchell, the collegial atmosphere and knowledgeable instructors made an impact on Foster. The instructors made the curriculum interesting, even when the material was challenging. “[BLET] was a tough course,” Foster noted, “but it was something that I wanted to do. You have to take the courses very seriously because you are dealing with the law, other people’s lives and your own life.” The BLET program at Mitchell provides intensive training for future law enforcement personnel. “The professors do a great job making sure that you know everything you need to know,” Foster shared.
After his graduation and certification, Foster worked in law enforcement for ten years as a patrol officer and narcotics investigator. He even had the opportunity to work with some of his former instructors in the field. One of the most impactful things about his time in law enforcement was the difference Foster was able to make in his community. He participated in community watch events, Church and Police Together and a variety of other events and initiatives. After the birth of his first child, Foster made the difficult decision to change careers. He is currently employed at Salem Carriers as a day driver.
Foster’s dedication to his community–sparked when he was young and cultivated though his years public service–has continued. When Foster was young, his mother would take him with her to her many different community outreach groups and his father was an active advocate in local politics. Foster has continued this family interest in the community and local politics. In 2015, Foster was appointed by the Statesville City Council as a member of the Statesville Storm Water Commission, serving for three years. He also consistently attended Statesville City Council meetings as an unpaid, interested observer. Foster was honored to learn of his appointment to the Statesville City Council after the final votes were counted in the November 5 runoff election. While both his parents have passed away, Frederick knows that they would be thrilled with his election, “My dad would be getting on my nerves right now,” Foster joked. “He would be walking around town bragging. He would buy a brand-new suit and the whole nine yards just to take a nice picture with me.”
Foster has big plans for his time on Statesville City Council. One of his main goals is to get people more interested and involved in their local community. He aims to make City Council meetings available on social media to aid in this effort. “We could get more input from citizens and make it more interactive,” he said. “That would help us serve the citizens better.” Foster is also going to hold monthly meetings for citizens to come and discuss the issues and topics that they are passionate about. “I want to empower them,” he shared. “I encourage people to get involved, stay informed, come, join me at city council meetings. This is not my seat; it is the seat for the citizens.” Foster desires to work with the other City Council Chairs to grow the city in a smart way with well-formulated goals.
While Frederick is elated to serve his community, he does not plan on being a career politician. In the future, he hopes to retire and travel. Following her father’s footsteps, one of Foster’s daughters is currently studying criminal justice at Mitchell. Foster shares this advice to students at his alma mater: “Do what makes you feel happy and that you feel is your calling. You only get one life, enjoy it and make the best of it.” Foster is following his own advice, doing what he loves by serving his community.
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