Public advocate speaks about experiences to students

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Public advocate speaks about experiences to students

Andres Mata speaks to the Current Issues class.

Andres Mata speaks to the Current Issues class.

Andres Mata speaks to the Current Issues class.

Andres Mata speaks to the Current Issues class.

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During Instructor Codi Fenwick’s Current Issues and Forensics class, guest speaker Andres Mata spoke to the students about public advocacy and his career at the Mennonite Central Committee on Feb. 22.

“I asked Andres Mata to speak because of his personal experiences as a City Commissioner and Public Advocate for the last 10 years,” Fenwick said.

At a young age, Mata was interested in civics and advocacy. For the Haiti relief aid, he raised $1,700 in less than two weeks in fifth grade.

At age 13, Mata applied to be the Salina City Commissioner and served until he was 16 years old. He then served for another two years on the planning commission.

Mata decided to resign to allow him to study at Tabor College. Mata now works at the Mennonite Central Committee and travels around Kansas and Washington D.C to advocate for immigration reform.

Mata also visited with students one-on-one, encouraged students to get involved, and encouraged students who are pursuing a career in politics.

“My intent was for him to promote civic engagement and inspire young adults to get involve sooner rather than in 20-30 years,” Fenwick said.

21mweilert@usd489.com

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