I have lived in Utah for 29 years of my life. I’m a community activist and writer. I graduated from Weber State University with a bachelor’s degree in technical writing in 2009 and social work in 2016.
My entrance into the world of public service started when I was 14 years old. I noticed a poster of a young girl who had gone missing hanging on just about every window and door in my local area. Being a young man at the time, I had no idea about the ills of the world. And yet, at that moment, I wanted to know more and help out people in those situations.
Since that time, I have worked tirelessly with missing children’s organizations to build awareness for a lot of cases that have not been on the public’s radar. I have also assisted organizations that seek to identify individuals who were found deceased but their identities were unclear. I also successfully lobbied to have August 25th and a local park in Sunset, Utah named after Rachael Runyan, a missing child from the area.
Outside of my work with children’s organizations, I’ve also assisted with community mental health operations. These efforts involved teaching group sessions and helping individuals live a more independent life. After overhearing a client talking about their struggles with a gambling-like game, I went to state and local authorities to have a business that was selling gambling machines that were against state laws and a bingo parlor shutdown. I couldn’t stand for a disadvantaged, vulnerable group being taken advantage of by an entity that was trying to profit off of them.
In 2016, I graduated with a bachelor of social work degree from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. I spent the next three years working with people with disabilities in group home settings. This experience showed me the trials and tribulations this population goes through on a daily basis. I continue to figure out ways to change things for the people I served during this time. There’s so much work that needs to be done.
I believe that there's a lot of work left to be done to protect victims of domestic violence and properly punish their abusers. That's why I have devoted many hours championing comprehensive legislation to change how these crimes are approached. These efforts continue to this day and would become even more prominent if I were elected senator. This type of crime is a moving target, so it's crucial to remain to diligent and stay on top of it.
I continue to advocate and care for senior citizens in my area, whether it's connecting them with service providers to get their lawn mowed or getting my hands dirty and helping them clean their home. Our seniors face an uphill battle in this country with so many things coming at them and people trying to take advantage of their vulnerable state. In crafting the senior citizens section of my policies page, I did not merely parrot common talking points swirling around. I delved into my own experience and thought about the seniors whose impact on my life resonates to this da
A lot of my work with veterans coincided with the work I did in mental health. You would be surprised how many distinguished veterans partake of the services of community mental health organizations. Many of them felt like they were forgotten and didn't know how to access the benefits needed to help them move their lives forward. My passion for working to help veterans is definitely based on the mental health aspect of what they're going through. We do great things for our men and women in the military, but I feel like we could do better.