Polk Teens Participate in Youth in Government in Tallahassee
Published: Monday, February 25, 2013 at 9:29 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, February 25, 2013 at 9:29 a.m.
Youth In Government’s 56th annual State Assembly started Friday. Students from around the state of Florida met in Tallahassee to embark on a weekend filled with friends, fun, and debate.
On Wednesday, 81 high school teens from Polk County and their advisers left for Tallahassee for the 56th annual YMCA State Youth in Government Assembly. They are participating in a three-day model government experience that they have been preparing for since August. Haley Oberhofer, one of the teens, volunteered to share her experience with us while in Tallahassee.
The West Central Florida delegation brought 80 delegates to the assembly. These students from around various parts of Polk County have been working toward State Assembly for the past year.
On Friday, students waited anxiously for the docket and seating chart to come out. While delegates were waiting, they read the newest issue of Capitol Briefings, a publication assembled by the press corps. The legislative delegates debated bills in the House of Representatives and the Senate throughout the day. The level of debate was intense and legislative presiding officers hoped that will continue to improve throughout the weekend.
The judicial branch was hard at work, as they prepared for oral arguments and briefs. These students work with a lawyer throughout the year to help guide them on constitutionality and their arguments.
The Cabinet shared their policy proposals and had a press conference with the press corps. Cabinet members also persuaded delegates to vote on items on their policy agenda. The legislative policy agenda was created after the presiding officers traveled to Tallahassee and learned concerns of various state departments.
Youth In Government delegates exemplify the saying, “work hard, play hard.” Friday evening, students kept their bill books at the hotel for the Governor’s Ball. The program has three gubernatorial candidates this year. Held in the Antique Car Museum, delegates had the opportunity to dance, play poker, admire cars and enjoy tasty treats.
As the program comes to an end Saturday, students looked forward to hearing about election results, debating more bills, passing a joint resolution, and making lasting memories.
To keep up with all things YIG, check out our blog, The Page Note (www.thepagenote.blogspot.com) and like us on Facebook (Florida YMCA Youth In Government).
Haley Oberhofer, senior at All Saints’ Academy, has been involved with Youth In Government for the past six years. During her time with the program, she has served as a page, representative, journalist, and now is the editor-in-chief of the press program.
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