by Cody Greer
November marks the month in which a great many of our students attend the YMCA’s Youth in Government Conference. Under the coordination of Ms. Sullivan, Dr. Fisher, and Mrs. Corbin (we missed you Mr. McPherson), students from 9th through 12th grade traveled to Columbia for four days in their best attire to both evaluate and participate in our government, learning about legislative and legal processes. Students who wish to participate are given the option to either create a bill and attempt to pass it through committee and chamber to have it signed into youth law, or, as in my and the majority of the senior class’s case, heavily study a mock trial and work together as a team of attorneys, competing against other delegations’ teams.
Our attorney teams saw some success, with both teams splitting wins and losses. On the legislative side, Anthony Ramirez (10), Noah Beason (10), and Tiana White (10) as well as Zion Williamson (11) and Kyle Tracy (11) passed their bills into law. Ben Freedman (9) was recognized as an outstanding delegate, an honor for having provided meaningful and significant discussion to the passage of bills. Jackson Wall (12), Sam Spencer (12), Mary-Edens McAbee (11), and Jake Popkin (11) all served in leadership positions. In addition, all delegates helped elect next year’s Youth in Government officials.
At the event, we were given time to socialize with our peers from around the state through games, dancing, or simply hanging out and talking. We were given the freedom to eat where we liked in our state’s capital, walking to and from every destination. During the nights of our stay at the Marriott, we were even given the opportunity to order pizza for our rooms. Youth in Government not only teaches us how our government functions, but also it gives us an incredibly fun and enjoyable experience in addition to a great deal of freedom. For anyone potentially interested in attending next year’s conference, I highly encourage it. Whether you decide to be an extremely serious delegate or simply someone trying to pass a leisurely “joke bill” as we call it, there is always a place for you in Youth in Government.