Lakota West's Justin Kelley Serves as Teen Ambassador Provides Insight to Attorney General

Lakota West's Justin Kelley Serves as Teen Ambassador Provides Insight to Attorney General
It was a big commitment to serve on the Ohio Attorney General’s Teen Ambassador Board, but Lakota West junior Justin Kelley felt the benefits would be worth his time and energy. The one-year tenure required periodic meetings, frequent conference calls and plenty of brainpower.

And Justin was correct – it was worth it.  “Being on the board exposed me to so much,” he says. “I like to be engaged and to know I’m helping make a difference. The research and problem-solving the board did really made me feel as if we could address real issues. It opened my eyes to different perspectives and possible solutions.”

He thanks Karen Wainscott at Lakota West for helping him get involved. “Last Spring, Ms. Wainscott shared the information with the school and I decided to go for it.”

For Justin, who is interested in law and government, his participation reinforced his pursuit of those fields. “I enjoyed the opportunity to meet several assistant attorney generals for the state and to hear from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. Each shared their education and career path, and gave us insight into possible careers.”

Just two years old, the Teen Ambassador Board was created by DeWine as a way to garner input from teens throughout the state on crucial issues. According to the Board’s mission, the purpose is two-fold: 1) expose future leaders with an inside look at the law and government; and 2) leverage teens’ insight into the greatest issues facing Ohio.

Working in subcommittees, the 175 junior and senior high school students tackled subjects like cyber bullying, alcohol abuse among youth, the heroin epidemic, poverty and employment. Kelley’s group addressed the rising cost of college education.

“My group researched the various reasons why college costs are increasing so quickly and decided we would create a comprehensive website of available scholarships for Ohio residents,” explains Kelley. “We wanted people to have easy access to all of the resources to help them pay for college.”

The website idea presented by Kelley's group was shared with Attorney General Officials on March 8.  Following all presentations, officials will review the resources to decide if the ideas are practical and feasible.  Kelley hopes that his group's proposal will one day become a reality.

He plans to participate again next year as a senior. “I encourage other Lakota students to consider serving in this way,” Kelley says. “It’s a great way to make a difference not just in our local community, but throughout the state.”

For more information about the Teen Ambassador Board, including an application form, please visit Applications are due May 31 for the 2016-17 academic year.

Lakota West junior Justin Kelley is shown here with members of the Lakota Board of Education. He was recognized at the April 11 board meeting for his work on the Ohio Attorney General's Teen Ambassador Board.