There are many ways our youngest and brightest are preparing to become the leaders of the future.

For one student at Pusch Ridge Academy in Oro Valley, his aspirations for making an impact lie in pursuing a potential career in politics and public policy.

One of his career interests includes economics.

“I wanted to be a businessman for the longest time,” said 17-year-old senior Daniel Jung, a senior at the school whose parents are business owners.

As he approaches the end of his high school career, he’s making strides in that direction.

For two years now, hes served on the Governors Youth Commission, a program that brings students from across the state together to tackle some of the most pressing issues in their community.

Jung said he was “Placed in the distracted driving group.”

Other key focus areas include mental health, domestic violence, education, and substance abuse.

Jung currently serves as co-chairman for the distracted driving group after applying following the end of his first year in the program.

Despite never envisioning a world where he could shape policies, he says in retrospect the signs were always there.

“My parents, from when I was in middle school, were like, you know you should be a politician, youre a good speaker,” he said. “I never really considered that because I was like I dont know.'”

He says his parents always encouraged him to be of service to his community no matter what direction life took him. His commitment to service first became evident in middle school when he founded a non-profit.

“Our first big project was getting a Thanksgiving food drive for Gap Ministries,” he recalled. “It was a little challenging at first because we were a bunch of eighth graders, we had no idea what we were doing.”

With that commitment continuing today through his current role with the Governor’s Youth Commission (GYC), one of his former teachers, Zachary Brewer, believes the future is in good hands.

“To see someone among their peers who is naturally a leader but also wanting to advocate in what they believe in is always something I respect,” he said.