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New Connecticut Kid Governor looking to bring mental health awareness to youth

Hartford Courant - 11/22/2022

A fifth-grader from Monroe who ran for 2023 Connecticut’s Kid Governor on a platform of bringing awareness to anxiety and depression in youth has been elected by her peers, the Connecticut Democracy Center announced Tuesday.

The winner, Elisavet “Ellie” Mendez, of Monroe Elementary School will be the state’s eighth Kid Governor.

More than 9,400 Connecticut fifth graders from 150 schools were registered to vote in November’s statewide election, and students cast their votes for one of seven final candidates. The program teaches fifth-grade students about government, voting and the importance of civic engagement.

Mendez’s three-point platform includes:

The six other finalists — Aaron Enyong, Jacob Garay, Liliana Magazine, Maxence Clementine, Scarlet Beaulieu and Shaan Patel — will serve as Ellie’s Cabinet.

“We’re once again thrilled to see so many Connecticut fifth graders take an active civic role by evaluating important community issues and casting a ballot to elect their next Kid Governor,” said Nichole Pitruzzello, Connecticut’s Kid Governor state coordinator for CTDC. “Ellie’s platform and commitment to addressing anxiety and depression resonated with the voters.”

Brian Cofrancesco, director of Kid Governor for CTDC, said the final candidates’ platforms were “inspiring.”

“Kid Governor-Elect Ellie will join Kid Governors in four other states in empowering their constituents to make a difference in their communities next year,” Cofrancesco said. “We thank each of the students for having the courage to stand up for a community issue important to them.”

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