Freshman Rep. LaKeySha Bosley has a refreshing take on why she chose to run for office: By becoming part of the legislature, Bosley hopes not only to be a proper representation for both her district and the state of Missouri, but also someone who can unite the young and old.

For Bosley, the importance of public service was instilled in her as a child. And as an adult, she felt it was time to put those values into practice.

“I think, more so than anything, I ran because there is a need for us to have representatives to look like the state of Missouri,” Bosley said.

Bosley, who is in her mid-20s, has made it her mission to be representative of Missourians who feel their voice might not count. After hearing so many young people voice their discontentment with the system, Bosley said she hopes she can encourage voters to see the positive outcomes their decisions hold.

“I think it was essential for me to run for office to give people that voice people have been looking for for so long. I know that a lot of my generation doesn’t necessarily like to vote. They don’t like to be a part of politics whatsoever because it seems like such a tricky business,” Bosley said.  “I got tired of listening to 18- to 36-year-olds saying that ‘the system’s broken, they don’t care about us,’ and so on. At that point, I thought, ‘Let me show you what voting really does. It does have a really positive effect.’”

Bosley has had strong influences when it comes to public policy in her own life. Her father, Freeman Bosley Sr., is the longest standing alderman in the city of St. Louis, giving her a firsthand look at the dedication and work that comes along with being a public servant.

“This is a thankless job sometimes, and to see him so motivated to continuously [want] to serve, that was an inspiration,” Bosley said. “To see him stop in the middle of the street to want to talk to constituents and wave them down — for me he was my superhero.”

But Bosley said as a kid she didn’t plan on becoming involved with politics because she saw with her father how public service “takes you away from everything.” She didn’t change her mind until she saw the need for her generation to be represented.

“We hear that the older generation sometimes doesn’t want to listen to us or that we don’t want to listen to them. And I have a unique perspective because I come from an older family, and I am young. I’m trying to bridge the gap,” Bosley said.

Despite her father’s political background, Bosley said she didn’t inform her family when she decided to run for office.

“A lot of people get things mistaken and think that because I come from a political family they put me up to it,” Bosley said. “I didn’t tell [my family] I was going to do it. I had no interest in letting them know because I really wanted to make sure that this was something I was doing for the right reasons in my own heart.”

Now that Bosley is in office, she already had her work cut out for her. She is currently working on legislation for the St. Louis city and county merger as well as sponsoring a bill increasing daily restitution rates, saying “it’s the right thing to do.”

“When you take someone’s life, you need to give it back to them or restore it back to before they were convicted or wrongfully convicted,” she said.

Bosley said she remains committed to serving people in her life — through politics or other means. Bosley is already a certified nursing assistant and is still in nursing school.

“Just serving people and their best interests is something that I’ve always wanted to do,” she said.

As for other young Missourians, Bosley has some advice: “Make sure to always keep dreaming. Because when you stop dreaming, you lose the ability to create change.”