CHS sophomore, next youth legislator, wants safe space for students

Carson High School sophomore Kyle Allen is district 16’s youth legislator for the 2023-25 term.

Carson High School sophomore Kyle Allen is district 16’s youth legislator for the 2023-25 term.
Photo by Jessica Garcia.

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Carson High School sophomore Kyle Allen recognizes value in listening to others. For District 16’s newest youth legislator, it will become one of his strengths as he considers a career in law or politics representing his peers in his term.

The Nevada Youth Legislature program gives high school students a voice in legislative and educational issues in the Senate district they reside or attend high school. Allen was appointed by Sen. Lisa Krasner, with whom he has been communicating by e-mail and said he looked forward to discussing his bill draft request in the coming months.

He hopes to explore issues like the school’s nutrition standards or even on a statewide level to improve how students are eating, and he’s already been in touch with Carson City School District’s Nutrition Services Director Elizabeth Martinez to learn the district’s inner workings about its food program. He also has interest in raising the profile of Carson High’s LGBTQIA+ — lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual — community and promote equality.

“Once we get closer to our next session, (the NYL) will host town halls where we connect with students and our community members and see what’s going on in our lives,” Allen said. “I recognize that I can call a lot of issues within out district, but they may not be the same things for those people. They may not be perceived the same way.”

He also plans to make himself available in Carson High’s Senator Square to fellow students and parents at certain times to express their thoughts as a representative.

“I openly encourage communication,” he said. “I gave my details to our administration. I put myself out there in the announcements in the first week of school for students who needed that safe space.”

CHS leadership adviser Teneya Cramer, who has had Allen in her class for four years since she taught at Eagle Valley Middle School, including two English classes, said he has grown into a “wonderful, young human.” She encouraged him to apply for the program and wrote his letter of recommendation.

“He has always been a leader amongst his peers,” Cramer said. “He is always the first to volunteer but always the first to task others with things to do, and that’s why I thought it would be good for him to do the Nevada Youth Legislature. … And he really does his best to get involved and is rocking it on speech and debate and taking pre-AP (Advanced Placement) and Honors. He’s just well-rounded … and uses his powers for good.”

Allen maintains an active list of extracurricular activities in addition to his duties on the NYL. He’s launching a campaign for student body president, is a member of the Future Business Leaders of America and has competed in speech and debate competitions, yearbook and the school’s Senators Now broadcast.

Allen’s family also has been involved with Carson City Little League, spending nights or weekends enjoying community youth baseball as a “safe, fun place” on a regular basis. But his goal at least for the next few years ahead of him is to be of service to his peers as much as he can.

“I applied right away,” Allen said. “I love Nevada, but we don’t have many opportunities like this, especially in Carson City.”


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