MISSOULA – Hundreds of high school students gathered on Monday evening at the University of Montana to hear from a former U.S. Senator who wants to encourage them to find solutions for global problems.

Former Montana senator and U.S. ambassador to China Max Baucus told the students that they are the future, and had some insights into just how people are, everywhere.

Baucus says people are the same the world over — they care about jobs, healthcare, and education for their kids. But he anticipates cybersecurity to be a key issue these future leaders deal with.

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He also wants these students to anticipate working with other countries, but not let them take advantage of the United States.

“I want to encourage them very positively, to enter public service with enthusiasm, that there’s all kinds of ways to solve problems, there’s all kinds of ways to skin a cat, there’s always a solution to every problem, so move forward, be involved, ask questions,” Baucus said.

The longtime Democrat was speaking as part of the 14th Annual Academic WorldQuest conference. The Montana World Affairs Council organized the events this week.

Reporting by Augusta McDonnell for MTN News