Even the most conscientious and civic-minded among us tend to get political fatigue over the course of an election year like this one. But David King isn’t most people.
At age 17, the West Side Leadership Academy senior has already immersed himself in the political arena, recently winning election as President of the Indiana Association of Student Councils and being selected this past June to serve as Mayor-for-a-Day in Gary — none of which seems at all out of place for someone who has been active in student governance since the fourth grade.
“I love to represent my peers and I love playing a vital role in making a difference, which is the reason I became interested in student government,” King says.
King was able to see the inner workings of government beyond the school walls thanks to the mayor-for-a-day program that, among other things, briefly put him behind the big desk in place of Karen Freeman-Wilson. But it wasn’t the lofty corridors of power that left the most lasting impression.
“The most interesting aspect of the job was the one-on-one communication with the citizens, hearing their concerns and seeing the team atmosphere in the administration,” he says. “Mayor Freeman-Wilson has genuine care and concern for the people and the City of Gary. I love that ability to remain interactive with the citizens.”
While King plans to work in law and government before an eventual run at the U.S. presidency when he graduates from either Indiana University or Harvard, it’s that feeling of staying in touch and helping people that also inspires his potential fallback career.
“If any of that changes, I would become an educator and a student council adviser, and help another generation grow as I did under the guidance of my adviser, Mrs. Jacqueline Staten.”