Oregon to inaugurate very first 'Kid Governor'

Fifth grader Dom Peters was nominated by his peers to be Oregon's first Kid Governor, a civic program focused on getting students involved in their communities. (Oregon's Kid Governor)

On Monday morning, Oregon's very first 'Kid Governor,' Dom Peters, will be inaugurated at the state capital.

Kid Governor is a civics program meant to encourage students to get involved in their communities.

All 5th grade students across the state were invited to participate. In total, 28 students were nominated and were required to create a video expressing what they wanted to accomplish in office.

"It was a 2-3 minute video that outlined why they should be kid governor and what their main initiative was," said Michael Torguson, one of the selection committee members. "Environmental issues, foster care... and Dom Peters, who is going to be our Kid Governor, put in one for bullying."

Torguson says the selection committee, which was comprised of education and civic leaders across the state, was tasked with narrowing down the 28 nominees to eight finalists.

According to Torguson, narrowing down the finalists was no easy task.

"It was unbelievably difficult," he said. "Every person who put in a nomination was absolutely fantastic. The videos were fun to watch-- they had a lot of good ideas that were in there."

Once the final eight candidates were selected, fifth graders across the state watched their platform videos and voted for the person they wanted to represent them.

As Oregon's first Kid Governor, Peters will serve a one year term. During that time, he'll be responsible for maintaining a blog about his platform, implementing projects to help solve the problem and making appearances.

He'll even have a ceremonial office in the capital.

Torguson hopes in the future, the program will be adopted by more states.

"You want kids to be kids. You don't want kids to not have to worry about anything," he said. "But at the same time, it shows a really refreshing awareness that they are in tune with the world around them. They are knowing what's going on, and they have ideas on how to fix it."

The inauguration ceremony for Dom Peters will be held in the Senate Chamber in Salem at 10 a.m. on Monday.

The Kid Governor program was created in 2015 by the Connecticut Public Affairs Network.

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