Last weekend, ESD's Youth and Government students represented ESD well at today's District Conference, with a few receiving special recognition. Earning Outside Delegates in Legislative were Zander Knight '21 and Anastasia Sotiropoulos '19 and in State Affairs Forum were Meera Gangasani '20 and Nick Harapanahalli '20. Nick also received the Angie Baggott Character Award.
Nick chaired the SAF General Assembly and freshman newcomer Natalie Parker '22 showed great improvement over the course of the day, participating multiple times in the General Assembly. Nick also won his election to represent Dallas YMCA District 5 as their candidate for SAF Officer at State Conference! Brian Jones '20 ran for the right to represent District 5 for Chief Justice at State. He also served as a Justice in the Judicial Appellate section.
The success of the program is a credit to the students who run the program and lead the sections! It truly is student driven. Credit goes to President Anastasia Sotiropoulos, VP Nick Harapanahalli, Sec/Treasurer Jack Beck '21, Student Coordinator Brian Jones, Club Counsel Representative Zander Knight, and section coordinators Sriya Dodda '19 (Legislative), Meera Gangasani (SAF), and Anna Strohmeyer '21 (Appellate).
All the students represented ESD well. Jack Beck, Gabriel Letcher '21, and newcomers Anissa Noor '19, Carter Bakewell '21, and Eduardo Carbonel '22 received valuable experience in Legislative. Kathryn Sullivan '22 and Ava Finn '22 learned a lot in preparing for SAF at State. The Judicial team of Anna Strohmeyer and Judah Powell '21 continued to improve from their freshmen year experience and the new team of John Calvert '19 and Zan Haq '20 gained a deeper understanding of Appellate.
Middle School Youth and Government also attended District and participated in the State Affairs Forum. They had a great time participating in their first competition and practicing for the state competition in Austin in February. The students who participated were Miles Bates '24, Cren Boyd '23, Brayden Girata '24, Ben Guerriero '24, Ayden Kumar '25, Cara Lichty '24, Camila Rivera '23, John Schindel '25, Wheeler Wood '24, and Miles Wooldridge '24. Students presented proposals to combat food deserts by adding gardens/gardening classes to public schools and to add restrictions to the 3D printing of firearms.
The District Conference is essentially a rough draft for the State Conference in Austin the end of January. The students will be working to improve their bills, proposals, and briefs and work on their debate, presentation, and critical thinking skills. As a program, we hope to earn Premier Delegation status for the sixth year in a row.
Congratulations to the students for their hard work and success!