By: Faith Pawley 

Governor Kennedy Montgomery was energetically greeted with roaring cheers in his opening speech, but his message conveyed the changes he made in the program. He spoke frequently of unity; bringing together a  conference of diverse teens from different areas. 

“My message was that Youth & Government gives many of us a platform for us to do amazing things, and I want them to do amazing things,” Montgomery said. “What we choose to do with that power will truly define who we are.” 

Montgomery looks out for his fellow YAG participants and wants them to grow, learn, and feel empowered. He started working in his position as Governor to help students on the first day of the Conference. Montgomery gets to know students, learns about their experience and helps prepare for the conference.  

Montgomery also sees this position as an advancement to his future career. He strives to be a strong politician and hopes his seat as Governor can move him closer to his goal.

“It’s actually really funny,” Montgomery said. “I wanted to be a surgeon before, but Youth and Government actually changed that. I want to be a politician now.”

Montgomery ran for Governor because he wanted to serve his community and wanted to improve the YAG program. 

“I felt extremely humbled, elated and truly moved that I am able to serve the students,” Montgomery said.  

Delegate Emma Keller spoke of Montgomery’s message of unity and wanting to serve the studnets of Youth and Government. Keller said that Montgomery focused on bringing the leadership and delegates together. 

“It (Montgomery’s message) was all about unity – about bringing together all three branches of the Texas Legislature. He wanted to bring them all closer and have them work together,” Delegate Emma Keller said. “It’s was all about unifying the leadership and the delegates and the entire Youth and Government.”

She personally didn’t see any drastic changes to the program, but said that a few subtle changes had been made. In particular, the docket system had changed since Montgomery had been in office. The order of the bills is now chosen by the quality and debate length rather organized in an arbitrary order. 

“That is an efficient way to do the senate docket,” Keller said. “I think it’s really cool.”

She believed that he is making valuable changes to the program.