Secretary of State Debra Bowen holds a political post today that she never had an inkling she would have when she was growing up, she told John Burroughs High School students on Thursday.
Bowen shared her life story of growing up as a shy girl in Rockford Ill., “frequently in trouble for doing things I should not have been doing.” All the while, however, she earned straight A’s on her report cards without any ambitions of a political career.
But that changed after Bowen moved to Venice, Calif., and joined her local Neighborhood Watch committee.
“I joke that Neighborhood Watch was my gateway drug to politics,” she said.
Bowen served as guest speaker at Burroughs’ Junior State of America Club, where about 90 students routinely gather during lunch breaks to debate political issues.
She accepted the invitation from senior Edward Youn, 17, who reached out to her.
“To see elected officials talk to us leads me to believe that the gap between the government and the people is slowly closing up,” Youn said. “We could finally work together on issues that we care about.”