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Go Out ... Find Your Cause

February 26, 2016

During assembly on Friday, February 26, Catherine Hanaway, parent and Republican candidate for Missouri governor, spoke at the invitation of the Young Republicans Club.

Hanaway began by commending Burroughs on being a "remarkably special place ... where there is positive peer pressure to be whatever, whoever you are."

She then talked about her career; the opportunity students have to "make the world over again" — which she said is why people go into politics; and some of the lessons she has learned along the way.

A lawyer by training, Hanaway's political career began in the early 1990s, volunteering for Republican campaigns. In 1993, she joined Senator Kit Bond's staff. In 1998, she ran and won a seat in the Missouri House of Representatives. In 2000, she ran President Bush's campaign in Missouri and was elected Republican Minority Leader. Soon after she was elected the first female Speaker of the Missouri House. In 2004, she ran for Missouri Secretary of State and lost. She next served as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, the federal law enforcement official for half  the state.

As she discussed her career, Hanaway shared advice that has served her well:

  • volunteer for "something, someone you believe in" and be ready to do the grunt work
  • pick a mentor to learn from
  • be willing to try and say "yes" even if a goal seems impossible
  • think strategically — figure out the big things that have to happen to get something done; don't get stuck in the process
  • realize that you are going to lose — what matters is what you do next
  • know how to be a good team member and leader — be positive, be loyal, be open

Before taking a few questions, Hanaway said she is now running for governor. "It's a big, big risk, but I want Missouri to be the place where you live ... not where you're from ... where you live out your dream."

"Go out. Find your cause. Decide how you will make the world over again."