One county teen his hoping that after the Ararat community’s Fourth of July Parade he will be able to add another title to his resume: Mayor.
Andrew Kozlow, 16, is a rising senior at East Surry High School, and after completing his senior project he decided to throw his hat in the ring for the largely-honorary title.
“For our senior project, we’re supposed to do something to benefit the community,” Kozlow said, “and at first I was going to do something with a sports camp, but I kept passing the Ararat fire station every day on the way to school, and their sign was looking rough.”
Kozlow’s answer was at hand.
“I thought I could help out the community and do my senior project at the same time if I fixed the sign and made it look good again,” he said.
So he did.
With his senior project completed and college applications on the horizon, Kozlow said he had a wild idea.
“I’d heard stories about young mayors before, and believe there’s one in Indiana who became mayor of his city and used that to help get into the University of Indiana,” he said. “I thought that if I could do that it might set me apart when applying for college.”
Kozlow, who serves as captain of both the East Surry High School soccer and wrestling teams and as Junior Class President and member of the National Honor Society, hopes to go to either Vanderbilt University, Wake Forest University or Duke University to study medicine.
He said that even with his already-impressive credentials, it’s not going to be easy to stand apart from the hundreds of other applicants for the limited slots.
“It’s going to be a challenge getting in,” he said. “But I thought if I ran it would only be an honorary thing, but I’d still have to campaign.
“Then I thought ‘how many mayors are on college applications?’ It would set me apart,” Kozlow added.
Ultimately, the rising senior wants to be a surgeon.
“But I also really like politics and thought it would be cool to have a taste of political life,” he said. “It would show the colleges that I have diverse interests and it will probably open my eyes and I could get the chance to see what I really want to do in the future.”
While he has Democratic leanings on some issues, Kozlow said he considers himself a conservative.
The voting for the honorary title will take place Friday following the community’s Fourth of July parade, Kozlow said.
“It’s a really neat way to do it,” he said. “They set up a table in front of the fire station and the community goes over after the parade and its a dime to vote. They throw their dime in the candidate’s cup they want to serve as mayor and at the end they count the money. Whoever has the most votes wins.”
“To be honest, I’m going to let them know I fixed the fire department’s sign and I love the community of Ararat,” he said.
Keith Strange can be reached at 336-719-1929 or via Twitter @strangereporter.