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With Super Tuesday and the 2020 Democratic primaries taking place in the United States, it was refreshing to pay a visit to Young AmeriTowne today to interview young politicians with true integrity from Flagstone Elementary. Young Americans Center’s Young AmeriTowne program includes a Towne Hall run by two elected officials, a mayor and a judge. Thanks to Janus Henderson Investors, students participating in the program gain hands-on experience in civics and learn the role of a well-run local government in a free enterprise system.
Similar to the election process in the U.S., students who are interested in the elected positions of mayor and judge are required to run a campaign at school where they make posters, influence their voters and deliver speeches. The initial, primary election narrows down the field into a handful of candidates and then students cast their final votes in the general election to determine the winners.
Over 80 students from Flagstone Elementary visited AmeriTowne this month and the elected mayor and judge both agree that their politics and laws are based first and foremost on the values of their citizens. Eleven-year-old Sanjay* who was elected judge said, “It’s not what WE think, it’s what the people think that matters most.” He went on to explain that he made some promises in his election speeches that he plans to keep. “I believe I won the election because I admitted my flaws. Everyone in the world has flaws but it is how we deal with them that matters. I promised to work on my organization skills.”
Carter*, the elected mayor said, “I was unbelievably excited when my classroom elected me in the primary. But then, in the general election, I won against three other fifth grade classrooms. I was SO proud of myself and thanked my mother in my speech when I won. I want to be sure that everyone in Towne feels proud to have me as their mayor today.”
Thanks to our incredible sponsors like Janus Henderson Investors, AmeriTowne is able to provide students like those from Flagstone Elementary real-life experiences in leadership and civics. According to Demesha Hill, Community Relations Manager at Janus Henderson Investors, “Janus has been a long time partner of Young Americans Center for Financial Education to bring its award-winning financial education programs to more than 523,300 Colorado students. Our investment shows our commitment to developing the next generation of leaders.” This commitment demonstrates to participating students that people from all backgrounds (and classrooms) matter, that their votes matters, and that the promises their leaders make to them all matter!
*Names have been changed to protect the identity of minor students.