Audrey Patton is the Oklahoma Kid Governor 2017
Sunbeam and the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) selected 10-year-old Audrey Patton as Oklahoma’s 2017 Kid Governor! The two organizations introduced her in February at the State Capitol, where she gave her acceptance speech and was interviewed by the press. Audrey, a 5th grader at St. John Nepomuk Catholic School in Mustang, was one of 18 children ages 7-11 who submitted videos for the “Vote 4 Kids” campaign led by Sunbeam and OICA. Kid Governors serve each year from February until the Oklahoma KIDS COUNT Fall Forum in November. During Audrey’s term, she addressed issues affecting the well-being of Oklahoma’s children such as, foster care, childhood poverty, early childhood education and mental health. Audrey says she wanted Oklahomans to pay attention to issues that affect the state’s children, specifically food insecurity. Daughter of William and Megan Patton, Audrey’s video addressed child hunger and safe homes for children.
“I don’t want any child to go to bed wondering where and when their next meal is,” said Audrey, who volunteers at the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank. “Children are most vulnerable during the summer when school is out.”
Do you know a child who would be a good candidate for Oklahoma Kid Governor? He or she will be selected to be the spokesperson for the “Vote 4 Kids” campaign led by Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy and Sunbeam Family Services. The campaign will address statewide issues affecting the well-being of Oklahoma’s children.
To be selected as Oklahoma Kid Governor, candidates must be between the ages of 7 and 11 years old, live in central Oklahoma and submit a one-minute campaign video to Sunbeam Family Services outlining:
- Who they are (name, age, school and where they live)
- Why they want to be Oklahoma’s Kid Governor
- What qualities and skills as a spokesperson they will bring to the position
- Talk about an issue involving the state’s children that they think is very important and why it’s important. The issue could be child abuse and neglect, education, foster care, physical or mental health of children or any topic chosen by the candidate.
The person selected as Kid Governor should be out-going, able to speak well, have a sense of humor and be passionate about helping other people—especially kids. In addition, the Kid Governor must be willing to appear at live gatherings and in videos without compensation.
“Oklahoma Kid Governor will be a fun, but also a serious campaign to raise awareness about important matters affecting Oklahoma’s children. Kids can’t vote so we adults have to vote for kids by keeping them a high priority in our own house but also in the State House,” said Jim Priest, CEO of Sunbeam Family Services.
Oklahoma’s Kid Governor will be selected in March by committee members from Sunbeam and OICA and will serve from April until the Oklahoma Kids Count Conference in the fall. Oklahoma’s Kid Governor will make his or her inaugural appearance at Sunbeam Family Services Shine A Light dinner in April. Throughout the “Vote 4 Kids”campaign, he or she will do some public speaking and will appear in short video presentations to help raise awareness of issues affecting children and to help make those issues a priority in the minds of Oklahoma’s citizens and policy makers.