By Julian Beai and Ashley Hatch
Since starting in 1948 Colorado Youth in Government has had the opportunity to inspire many young leaders. Senator Andy Kerr is one of those inspired leaders who has gone on to work in politics to help lead our country. Kerr was a senator for Colorado that is passionate about issues such as funding full day kindergarten and energy efficiency in schools. He is also a social studies teacher and says, “one of the most important things that we can do as social studies teachers is prepare the next generation of citizens.” He explains that not everyone has to run for office; students just need to participate at whatever level they feel comfortable at. Kerr tells us, “Our community is only as good as what we put into it.” Kerr’s start in politics began at YIG in the 80’s with Green Mountain High School. He attended YIG for 2-3 years and during his senior year was the student body treasurer at his school. Currently Kerr’s son Braden Kerr is at YIG just like his father.
Braden has been influenced by his father to come to YIG and to become an aspiring leader. He tells us that his father is a great force on his life, but also everyone around him. Braden has an interest in politics just like his father and is having the opportunity to experience politics first hand. He is branching out and running for a leadership position in hopes of continuing to expand his YIG experience. Braden shares that he has been most impressed by how everyone here works together and looks at every angle to find a compromise.
Youth in Government left an effect of how to be prepared and involved on Senator Kerr. Using Robert’s Rules of Order, Kerr began to know what he needed to do even before he stepped into office. He explains, “I’m not sure if I would have ever run for office if I didn’t have some of the experiences that I had through Youth in Government.” Kerr’s favorite part about his time in office is the little moments where he can interact with his community to make it better on a very individual level.
Kerr gives advice to future leaders to, “just go for it.” He says to study hard, get good grades, and more importantly try something new and branch out.