Jefferson Sophomore Joins Patterson For Day At Statehouse
High school leader shadows Rep. John Patterson for real-life civics lesson
March 10, 2017
[ John Patterson Home | John Patterson Press ]

State Rep. John Patterson (D-Jefferson) this week welcomed Jefferson Area High School student Kate Brand down to the Statehouse to shadow him on full day of committee meetings, House session and other legislative activity.

“Although I am no longer in the classroom every day, I never pass up the opportunity to educate young people on the importance of civic engagement,” said Patterson. “Ms. Brand is a bright young leader in our community and I hope she shares the insights and experiences gained today with her friends and peers back home.”

While at the Statehouse, Brand had the opportunity to observe House session, where representatives voted to pass three bills on Wednesday. 

“I am interested in political science and I participate in Model United Nations,” said Brand, whose parents were once students of Rep. Patterson. “Coming here has given me a new perspective on how to act and improve at Model UN. I really think visiting the Statehouse is a valuable experience that has given me insight into how state government works.” 

Brand also shadowed Rep. Patterson at a meeting of the Finance Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education, on which Patterson is a member. The high school sophomore decided to seize the opportunity and share with committee members how state cuts to education funding impact her personally. 

“My school system keeps having its budget cut by the state and none of our local levies are passing, so I talked about my experience as a student and how I feel that the state budget is holding myself and my peers back,” said Brand.  

Overall, Brand felt the experience offered a valuable inside look into a day in the life of a state representative and how state government functions. 

“I definitely learned that the elected officials here are willing to listen – all of the state representatives cared about what I had to say,” said Brand. “It’s been a really good experience, and I would definitely encourage other young people to learn as much as they can about how state government works and to shadow their state representative.”

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