John Runningen is a 22-year-old student who was born and raised in Fergus Falls, where he currently resides. He is pursuing a Political Science and History Transfer Pathway at Minnesota State Community and Technical College - Fergus Falls.
John has served as Student Government President on his campus since 2020 and has been involved with LeadMN for just as long. He was elected as President’s Group Chair during his first meeting and has served on Governing Council for his two terms while also serving on Fiscal Committee (2021 - 2022). He was also elected to the Platform Committee at Large position during Spring General Assembly 2021.
From advocating for affordable education to testifying about emergency grants and basic needs. He brings a powerful voice to the table when communicating with legislators and representatives, ensuring all students have a voice in the process. He prioritizes and focuses on uplifting students' voices and stories and sharing these struggles when testifying. He wants to make sure that higher education is an equitable process for everyone that wants to continue their education. He knows personally how difficult the financial aid process and receiving support is especially in rural Minnesota, where he resides. The process has far to many hurdles put in the way of our students, and John’s goal is to remove as many barriers as possible to help ensure everyone can continue their path to higher education.
In his free time, John enjoys sports, especially bowling. He also enjoys playing video games, watching movies, and playing magic the gathering and Dungeon and Dragons with his friends. Anything Marvel, Star Wars, or Lord of the Rings, he is all over it as well.
This year, John is looking forward to addressing the increasing cost of college, the FAFSA process, Emergency Grant programs, and mental health services available on campuses. He wants to develop lasting connections with students all across Minnesota and wants to help uplift their stories and address their concerns.