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Middle School Youth and Government Team Earns Premier Delegation at State Conference

Another State Conference is in the books! ESD's lean, mean legislating team earned distinctions for their debate and leadership skills and regained the status of Premier Delegation. This year's event was held January 27 – 29, 2023, in Austin, Texas.

Eagles presented bills on improving pay for college athletes, easing housing costs, ending the death penalty, increasing access to mental health services, allowing physician assisted suicide, reinstating last meal wishes for death row, and adding metal detectors at schools. And we debated, questioned and voted on countless more! ESD's chair/clerk team, Austin and Zachary, and our Sergeant at Arms, Arav, helped guide the legislative process.

The Eagle delegation, which included Guru, Jeffrey, Josephine, Jordan, Tag, Zachary, Rawaan, Arav, and Austin, wrote legislation, questioned authors, spoke in front of hundreds of peers from around the state, weathered criticism, and debated controversial issues. They all learned the value of active participation in a democracy! 

"This conference always reminds me that our future is in very good hands," said club sponsor and Middle School History Teacher Sarah Havins. "Many thanks to all who participated, including chaperones Sheela Thomas and Trumaine Smith. During these 12-15 hour days, the chaperones and volunteers take on many responsibilities to make this weekend possible."

YMCA's national Youth and Government program started in 1936 and now functions in 40 states around the country. From "The purpose of Youth and Government is to prepare a selected group of young people for moral and political leadership in the American democratic process by providing guidance, training, and experience in the theory and practice of determining public policy on the state level. It is called 'a laboratory in citizenship and government.'"