Enid Fifth Grader Mila O’Brien Elected Oklahoma’s Kid Governor®
OKLAHOMA CITY – Mila O’Brien, a fifth grader at Prairie View Elementary School in Enid, has been elected Oklahoma’s Kid Governor®.
Results of the Kid Governor® election were announced by the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA), a statewide nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of children that oversees the program.
Mila learned she was Kid Governor®-elect during a ceremony at her school on Friday, Nov. 18; she will be inaugurated in a State Capitol ceremony in early 2023, according to Lucila Gutierrez, OICA’s director of programs & donor engagement.
Kid Governor®-elect Mila O’Brien is 10 years old and is the only child of Phillip and Courtney O’Brien. Her favorite subject in school is Science, but Art and Music are also really high on her favorite subject list, said her mother, Courtney.
“Mila’s favorite thing about school is doing fun projects with her friends,” Mrs. O’Brien said. “She is in her last year at Prairie View Elementary and is looking forward to all of the things middle school has to offer!”
Mental health awareness for Oklahoma’s kids will be Kid Governor® O’Brien’s primary focus, as she will work to improve the overall well-being of children in Oklahoma. Among the planks in her platform for election were access to better health care and decreasing the rate of child poverty.
Tina Green, Mila’s fifth grade teacher who oversees the Kid Governor® curriculum at Prairie View Elementary School, said she is lucky to be Mila’s teacher this year. “She is a bright young lady with big dreams,” Green said. “Mila loves her school, friends, and family and is always looking for ways to make the world a better place. She is an excellent choice for Kid Governor® and I cannot wait to see Mila bring her platform of youth mental health awareness to light.”
Mila spends her free time reading, crafting, singing and playing music on her piano or her guitar, studying the French language, exploring historic places in Oklahoma or playing with friends, her mother said. “Her Dad and I are so proud of her,” Mrs. O’Brien said.
“She has always enjoyed spreading kindness and helping people in any way that she can. We are so excited to see the good things she can accomplish on this platform to improve the lives of children here in Oklahoma.”
OICA CEO Joe Dorman said that for the past six years, OICA has sponsored Oklahoma’s Kid Governor program. “This year, Oklahoma became the fourth state in the national Kid Governor® program, developing a state-specific curriculum on voting and government,” he said. “Mila will be Oklahoma’s fifth Kid Governor®. We are proud to be working with her as she becomes the voice of Oklahoma’s children when she takes office in 2023.”
Participating classrooms voted to in the official Oklahoma Kid Governor® election as part of the curriculum. Statewide, 26 classrooms signed up to be Kid Governor® classes in 20 different school districts covering 14 cities/towns across Oklahoma. In all, 1,062 fifth graders are participating in Kid Governor®, exceeding expectations for the first year of the curriculum.