by Kevin O'Connor, VT Digger, July 4th, 2021.
State Sen. Kesha Ram, D-Chittenden, was once a 19-year-old student speaker at a 2006 Bernie Sanders rally when a follow-up presenter — a U.S. senator from the Midwest, she remembers — shouted out a few encouraging words.
“He said, ‘You know what, Bernie, if you don’t behave yourself, we’re going to run Kesha instead!’” she recalled recently. “After the event, he said, ‘I meant it, you should run for office.’”
Two years later, Ram won election as a state legislator. Her vocal rally supporter was victorious, too. “He became the president of the United States,” she said. “That was Barack Obama.”
The moral of the story: Young people can find themselves in public service in often surprising ways, Ram and several peers revealed at the Governor’s Institute on Global Issues and Youth Action.