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Qynton Salyer has served as the Colorado Youth Governor for 2024, an honor for the Holy Family High School student. (Photo provided)

Qynton Salyer, a Holy Family High School junior, has had a busy and interesting year.

He is a Forensic Council member on the Speech and Debate team, Vice President of the National Honor Society, Junior Class Student Council Representative and Boys’ Basketball Team Manager. But beyond his involvement at Holy Family, he has taken a leadership role on a statewide stage.

An interest in politics during his freshman year led Salyer to get involved in the first Youth In Government program, a civics program offered by the YMCA. He served as Secretary of Education in the Governor’s Cabinet and was later named Lt. Governor.

“My interest was truly sparked when I was chosen to serve as a Colorado youth advocate in 2023, which allowed me to travel to Washington, D.C., to advocate for an increase in civics education funding,” Salyer said.

“This unique program gives middle school and high school students from all over Colorado an opportunity to speak up and stand out by developing leadership skills, initiative and intelligence that they will need in the future. Through Youth in Government and the three-day General Assembly, these students will build the confidence to lead others, speak out for legislation they write themselves and learn what it takes to create and pass the laws that govern our communities — all right here at the State’s Capitol,” he continued.

Salyer once again represented Colorado in 2023 at the Youth Governors’ Conference in Washington, D.C., in the summer of 2023. There, he met with students serving as Youth Governors as well as many federally elected officials, which sparked his desire to run for Youth Governor.

He says he learned a lot about areas where the Colorado YIG program could improve and knew he was the right person to make those improvements.

“Q,” as many friends call him, was selected by his high school peers to serve as the 69th Youth In Government Governor for the State of Colorado for 2024.

One of the benefits of Q’s work in youth government is that it has also set him up for a probable future political career, as he has made many contacts that will allow him to continue his path in politics.

“My passion for politics was sparked because too often young people are told that we will be the leaders of tomorrow,” he said. “Yet I believe with the right amount of passion and education, young people are driven to make change, making us leaders of today.”

Qn is also serving on Representative Neguses’ Youth Advisory Board, has been named the Violence Prevention Committee Chairman for the 2nd Congressional District of CO, and was once again selected to attend the Youth Governor’s Conference in 2024.

Beyond being a leader in youth politics, Q also earned a 4.1 GPA last year and was awarded Academic All-State. He has held himself to a high standard of excellence in the classroom, on the court and at the political table.

Salyer feels blessed that his peers and God have placed him in this special position.

His future plans include serving as a police officer while earning a law degree and later becoming a U.S. Senator.

He credits Holy Family High School and St. Louis Catholic School in Louisville for much of his success.

“The teachers at Holy Family are unlike any other school,” he concluded. “These teachers become mentors and friends. Catholic education not only shapes the mind but, more importantly, it crafts the heart like a fine sculpture.”

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This story was updated on May 28, 2024. Originally published in the Denver Catholic.