Driven is the best word to describe Dar'shun N. Kendrick. Her family, friends and colleagues likely would add results-oriented considering how much she has accomplished.
Now, the Democrat, 27, is running for State Representative - House District 94. People often are surprised by her age and ask whether she should wait until she is older. But she has been involved in politics since age 18 and thinks her time is now.
"I always knew I wanted to serve my community," Kendrick said. "I've worked on campaigns ever since I could vote."
She was a part-time intern for former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney in her Decatur district office, interned for former Congresswoman Denise Majette in Washington D.C., and for two years she interned at the state capitol for then Rep. George Maddox.
Currently, she is the Young Democrats of DeKalb's communications director.
"We can get someone in office who's in their 40s, 50s and 60s and they don't have nearly half the level of accomplishments I have over the past 10 years," Kendrick said. "My leadership speaks for itself."
When two state Representatives approached her about running, Kendrick initially demurred. But later she thought it over, talked with some city and state politicians and decided the day of the filing deadline.
The business attorney is a life-long DeKalb resident and owns a law firm in Lithonia. She has a bachelor's from Oglethorpe in political science and communications and law degree from University of Georgia. She is pursuing a master's in business administration from Kennesaw State University.
Kendrick crisscrosses DeKalb and Rockdale counties discussing her priorities - transportation, education and economic development.
Her goals to improve Georgia schools include preventing teacher furloughs and school closures.
"You can tell where a community is going by how it educates its children," she said.
Because of her background, she said she is keenly aware of small business owners' needs. The federal government is missing the mark with subsidies to Wall Street because small businesses drive the economy, she said.
She also will propose extending MARTA bus routes past Stonecrest Mall and thinks light rail could be beneficial if residents want it.
"Businesses won't want to relocate to Georgia if their customers can't get to them," Kendrick said.
In District 94, she wants to connect with residents by hosting casual community roundtables and creating citizen advisory committees.
"I view being a public servant as a partnership with residents," Kendrick said. "It's not me just going to the Capitol wielding my power."