WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas became the 34th state in the nation on January 29, 1861. After a turbulent pandemic year in 2020, Kansas celebrated its 160th birthday this year. As Kansas embarks midway through 2021, Governor Laura Kelly answered a few questions pertaining to Kansas. Here are her responses.
When you think of Kansas — what thoughts come to your mind?
When I think of Kansas, I think of our resilient, innovative, and talented people. From our world-class education system, our unique and diverse communities, to the historic accomplishments of Kansans like Dwight D. Eisenhower and Amelia Earhart, being a Kansan means you’re not afraid to push the boundaries to make a difference in your community.
What are the joys of being from Kansas?
Kansas is the perfect place to raise a family – that’s why I chose to make it my home over 30 years ago. We have excellent public schools, dedicated teachers, and a world-class higher education system. We also have the hardest-working, kindest people around. Since our founding, our welcoming and friendly atmosphere has made our state who we are today.
What can Kansans of all ages do to enhance the future of their state?
I hope Kansans of all ages will continue to find ways to invest in their communities. Whether by starting a business, getting involved in a local organization, running for office, or finding solutions to the most pressing issues, our entire state wins when Kansans commit to making a difference locally.
Any favorite Kansas-originated sentiment, quote, or motto that inspires you?
Over the last year and a half, our state’s motto, “Ad Astra Per Aspera,” or “To The Stars Through Difficulty” has rung especially true. I know Kansans will continue to overcome adversity and soar to new heights for years to come.
What wisdom would you like to share with young Kansans?
My best advice is to seek new opportunities to lead and serve others. So much of being a leader is about coming up with new ideas and working with people to create solutions that will make a difference. Once you are a leader, continue to look for ways to give back and give a hand up to those coming behind you.
Last but not least, I encourage our young Kansans to persevere and stay open to new opportunities, no matter how unexpected. Remember that, with hard work and persistence, no challenge is too great, no barrier is impassable, and no goal is too high.
To learn more about Kansas’s history, visit the Kansas Historical Society’s website by clicking here.