When he was young, Kai Simson wanted to be a pilot.
Now a senior studying political science at Northern Arizona University, he combined those two interests as an intern for the campaign of now-Sen. Mark Kelly, a fighter pilot and astronaut. That opportunity, and the many opportunities he’s had since, including being elected to ASNAU serving on the NAU Presidential Search Advisory Committee, once seemed out of reach to Simson, whose early life was rather nontraditional. Simson was born in Guatemala, adopted by a single father, raised in Hawaii and moved to Sedona to attend high school. In Arizona his father met his partner, whom he married a year later, beginning the expansion of Simson’s family, in which he is now the brother to three siblings.
“Getting an education opens more doors to opportunities that may have never been there,” Simson said. “Many people don’t have this chance, so I take the role of getting a degree very seriously.”
Simson started taking an interest in politics at an early age. “I remember going to the polls with my dad to watch him vote and thought that was the coolest thing ever!”
As his interest in politics grew, Simson’s dreams pivoted to someday running for elected office and led him on the path