Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

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Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Spotlight

Article excerpt

It isn't anything new to hear Mike Bates, 17, say he wants to be president of the United States.

People are so tired of hearing about it at school, he said. Mike, a senior at Wright City High School, doesn't plan to follow the traditional path of competing to get into a prestigious college and then law school to reach his goal. After high school, he is going to take a year and help his parents open a family restaurant near Hermann.

"I thought if I helped them with their dream, they would help me with mine," he said. Once the restaurant gets established, Mike plans to attend the College of the Ozarks, where he wants to work for the school to pay his tuition. He plans to major in political science. After college, Mike wants to go into politics. He plans to follow a grass-roots approach in his career. I've always loved helping and serving my community and my school. I think that's my calling, he said. When his school organized its Students Against Drunken Driving chapter last year, Mike volunteered to act as president. This spring, Wright City's S.A.D.D. chapter, helped by the Wright City Fire Department, Police Department, coroner's office, and Missouri Highway Patrol, went all-out to drive its message home. A mock car crash was enacted, with student-volunteer victims oozing fake blood, with jagged pieces of plastic simulating glass mounted in clay and stuck to the victims, along with chicken bones simulating human bones. To add more realism, the fire department provided two wrecked cars for the victims to lie in. Mike said the project caught everybody's attention. The mock crash took place a few days before the school's senior prom. Members of Wright City's S.A.D.D. chapter also carried a message against the use of alcohol and illegal drugs to students at the Wright City Elementary School. It sponsored a poster contest with poster themes depicting the dangers of illegal drug use. The organization then held a popcorn party for the younger students the day prizes were given out. Every class won one of the prizes, Mike said. No one lost. In addition to being president of S.A.D.D, Mike is president of the senior class. He served as class secretary freshman and sophomore year but said he had always wanted to be class president. The senior officers are currently planning graduation events for their class, including a senior picnic. As treasurer of the student council this year, Mike helped raise money to donate to Wright City's local Boonslick Charities organization. Individual classes in the various departments competed against each other to donate the largest contribution. Those classes contributing the most were treated to lunch at McDonald's. McDonald's gave the students a discount on food to help with their efforts. The school raised more than $300 with the project. …

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