Indiana Secretary of State Diego Morales visits students during Good Government Day

Apr. 16—Students from Logansport High School participated in 65th annual Good Government Day Monday, receiving mentoring from local leaders and meeting Indiana Secretary of State Diego Morales.

The day started at the McHale Performing Arts Center where participating students had the opportunity to meet local officials early Monday morning.

Mayor Chris Martin said that Good Government Day was one of his favorite days and he loved seeing the students interacting with local government.

Inside the theater, students heard from Key Club president and Logansport senior Aryan Patel, Martin and Morales.

The Indiana secretary of state told the students about how he arrived in the United States unable to speak English and went on to become the first Hispanic person elected to statewide office in Indiana and the first immigrant elected as secretary of state in the nation.

"We have the best and the brightest here in Indiana and I'm looking at all of you," he said. "You are the future of our state and if there is one thing I want you all to take away from my time talking with you today...there is no substitute for hard work. When someone tells you that you cannot do something, work 10 times harder and prove people wrong."

Patel was named mayor for the day, a role Mayor Martin held as a high school student on Good Government Day.

"To be here today is very inspirational, especially Mr. Morales' speech," said Patel. "I can relate to that a little bit. You can tell (the mayor and other public servants) are really invested in what they do and they make the state and the country a better place."

Patel said the Key Club is one of the most prestigious clubs at LHS that involves a lot of community service.

He said that juniors and seniors in the Key Club contribute 20 hours of service to get their certificate at the end of the year. Freshmen and sophomores are required to serve 10 hours. Serving 20 hours in a school year also qualifies the student for international membership.

"It's been nice to make others happy," he said. "It makes you feel special in a way because you are helping others that are maybe less fortunate than you. It makes you feel good on the inside."

Patel will attend Notre Dame in the fall and will study statistics with a minor in data science.

After the gathering at McHale, the participating students moved to the city building for a mock city council meeting.

Students took on the role of city council members and voted on issues from the last meeting.

Council president Dave Morris took an opportunity to speak to them during the public comments section.

"Being a council member can be very rewarding," he said. "But regardless of the decisions you'll have critics."

Ashanta Curry, a junior, was one of the students who participated on the mock council.

"It was a fun experience," she said. "I always wondered what goes on in a council meeting."

While not a Key Club member, Curry serves on the Logansport Savings Bank Junior Board and said that the opportunity had helped her get out into the Logansport community and learn about different careers and what the city has to offer.

"That was a great experience, hearing Secretary of State Diego Morales and obviously Mayor Martin himself," said Vasan Nomany, a senior. "It's really interesting to see the intricate process that goes into the council meeting because I'm usually not very involved in government things. It's just a whole new perspective."

Nomany will study environmental engineering at Purdue in the fall. After the council meeting and lunch, he worked with parks administrator Janet Fawley.

"Through parks administration, maybe I can find something within the parks that might help our environment," he said.

City mentors included Police Chief Travis Yike, Planning Executive Director Arin Shaver, city council members Dave Morris and Hayley Zinsmaster, code enforcement officer Randy Ulery, Fire Chief Rick Bair, Clerk-Treasurer Tyler Pearson and many others.