by Sasha Ryu
For junior Kamran Ostrum, perhaps two of the most influential people in his life have been his father, Jeff Ostrum, and the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump. According to Ostrum, it was his father who instilled within him an unwavering dedication to helping others, while President Trump was the one who initially inspired him to explore a future in politics.
“No, I’m not a Trump supporter, but he definitely made politics interesting,” Ostrum explained. “His [campaign against] Hilary Clinton…was so divisive. I think there’s definitely a right way to do politics and there’s a wrong way to do politics, and the whole race made me realize that the current American political system is [deeply flawed].”
This year, Ostrum started working on one of the five subcommittees on Congresswoman Anna Eshoo’s Student Advisory Board, writing legislation surrounding health. Currently, Ostrum is putting together a proposal focusing on economic disparity, finding ways to improve laws regarding homelessness to “give the less fortunate better opportunities to rise up on the social ladder and provide for themselves and their families.”
After studying political science in college, Ostrum hopes to dedicate his career to dismantling the “systems of corruption” existing within the current US government. Ostrum is particularly passionate about reforming “the process by which politicians come into their offices.”
“A serious problem right now is that if you’re a politician that already has money, or if you’re a politician getting dirty money from big corporations, you’ll have a huge advantage,” Ostrum stated. “There’s a lot of opportunity and incentive for politicians to become corrupt, and I think that’s something that needs to be taken out of the political world.”
Ostrum’s highly moralistic approach to politics seems to stem, in large part, from the way his father raised him. Whether it was looking both ways while he was crossing the street or treating others with respect, Ostrum’s father always “turned things into a life lesson.” Although Ostrum confessed to making fun of his father for this habit when he was a child, he now makes it a point to apply his father’s lessons to his daily life. Every day, Ostrum wears a bracelet his father gave him that says: ‘Do not expect to accomplish your dreams if you’re not willing to help others accomplish theirs.’ Ostrum seems to have shaped his life around this philosophy.
On any given day, you can find Ostrum going out of his way to make a positive impact on the community. Whether it be setting up the school’s annual TEDx event, coaching a local basketball team, or publishing students’ anonymous testimonials on important issues like mental health and familial strife on the staff of Reality Check, Ostrum always seems to be going the extra mile.
In every aspect of his life, Ostrum demonstrates the most profound selflessness and compassion. When he sets his mind to something, he focuses all of his efforts towards accomplishing his goal. Although much is still uncertain about what path he’ll take in the future, one thing is for sure – Kamran Ostrum is destined for greatness.