The experience was supervised by Scholars Academy social studies teacher, Erin White. This was White’s ninth year as the Youth Assembly supervisor.
“I love watching the students create debates, debate themselves, and write bills that may be controversial,” said White.
Junior Olivia Sawyer, who was elected and will serve as Lieutenant Governor for next year’s Youth Assembly, explained the reasons that a bill may not get passed in a committee.
“Many bills that were in my committee didn’t get passed because they had many flaws and holes,” said Sawyer.
Sophomore Max White wrote a bill that successfully passed through The House.
“It’s very accomplishing for them and I am proud of them when they get their own written bill passed because I get to experience how hard they worked for it,” said Sawyer.
Each conference is led by teens elected to office by their fellow delegates.
Seniors John West and Alexa Hernandez were elected at the 2016 Youth Assembly to serve as Speaker of the House and Secretary of the Senate, respectively, at this year’s Youth Assembly.
“As Speaker of the House, I got to preside over the actual debate, decide on who to call on, and when to move the debate,” said West.
“During my position as Secretary of the Senate, I read each bill aloud, kept debate time steady, and made sure that each bill got to either the House Chambers or the Youth Governor from the Senate,” said Hernandez.
White explained the impact that Youth Assembly brings to students, whether they are interested in pursuing a career that involves politics or not.
“They learn how to articulate their points in a coherent and concise manner because you don’t have people’s attention but for so long,” said White.
West plans to pursue a career in politics after becoming a lawyer.
“I am thankful for Youth Assembly because it gives students who want to pursue a prestigious career an in-depth experience of the many steps that go into being a Speaker of the House or a delegate,” said West.
Hernandez is also planning to pursue a career in politics.
“Youth Assembly prepares me to be able to speak freely and practice public speaking,” said Hernandez.
“I enjoy meeting new people and creating friendships. I have six people that I still keep in contact with even though Youth Assembly is over,” said Sawyer.
White wants her students to take away the knowledge of the legislative process.
“I also want them to learn how to think over implications of laws that get proposed,” said White.