Hurricane High School rising senior Adam Cook will be representing West Virginia at American Legion Boys Nation in Washington, D.C., later this week, and he hopes to make his mark while he’s there.
Cook and Jonathan Gharib of Capital High School were picked from more than 400 Boys State participants to attend the annual eight-day mock government program. Two incoming seniors are chosen from each state to serve as elected officials at Boys Nation, where they’ll vote on bills and conduct Senate sessions.
Cook said he was honored the American Legion selected him.
“This means so much to myself and my family, and I’m glad they put their trust in me to represent West Virginia at the next level,” Cook said.
He also has ambitions once he does get to D.C.
“I actually hope to run for president,” Cook said. “I think, whenever it comes down to it, I actually have what it takes to lead that group of people.”
At Boys State earlier this summer, Cook served as chief of staff to the Governor and as his party’s chairman. Because he wrote speeches for the Governor and laid out the party’s platform, Cook said he was paid back with the appointment.
Cook’s second of his two main goals at Boys Nation, he says, is to get his bill he submitted passed. His proposed bill would allow government subsidies to companies for broadening Internet access in low-income urban areas.
“What my bill essentially does, is it will encourage private companies to install fiber optic networks in diverse areas,” he said. “Whenever you look at the numbers, the numbers actually say that people in cities, namely New York City and Los Angeles; you would think that there’s plenty of Internet access and everybody can get it for a pretty affordable price. But that’s not the case.”
Cook is no stranger to the political process. Earlier this year, he did groundwork for Don Blankenship’s Senate campaign. He said most of his work involved phoning constituents, responding to emails and traveling throughout the state to help set up Blankenship’s campaign rallies.
“That was a great opportunity,” he said. “I loved doing that. I got in the loop, I saw how things really were run from the inside and I got to experience voter relations.”
Cook also started a teenage Republicans club at Hurricane High.
His interest in politics, he says, comes partly from his father.
“I like politics, I’ve been around politics, so, I think if I have to attribute where that came from, it would be from my dad and his involvement in the West Virginia political process,” Cook said.
Naturally, Cook has college in the back of his mind, too. The senior doesn’t know where he’ll go just yet, but says he’s leaning toward studying business.
“I’m kind of interested in the financial field, investment banking in particular,” he said.
Boys Nation begins July 20 and runs until July 28.