Francis Howell Central and Francis Howell High students recently competed at the 70th annual Missouri YMCA Youth And Government State Convention in Jefferson City. YAG student delegates held roles in a model state legislature, judiciary, press corps and lobbying groups – learning the ins and outs of state government.
The state YAG convention is held each fall at the state capitol. It’s the culmination of months of preparation by YAG delegations, which meet throughout the fall to prepare for the three-day mock government session.
More than 600 students from around Missouri attended the conference.
Six Francis Howell Central students served in top positions and/or received major awards. Seniors Gillian Eichel and Jenna Schwesig held Committee Chair positions. Schwesig presented her bill on “implementation of mental health class in public high school.” Eichel earned the Outstanding Statesperson award for the second year in a row. Eichel also had her bill, dealing with lowering the primary voting age to seventeen, passed into law – which is a rare occurrence in YAG competitions. Freshman Grace Percy’s bill dealing with “bullying behavior which leads to suicide will be a manslaughter offense,” and Hannah Bernard, with her bill on “decreasing the number of Asian Carp in Missouri waterways,” both received the Outstanding Bill award. Tori Laburay presented her bill on “more training for students in the event of an active shooter in a school.” Senior Nicole Fortney presented her bill dealing with “shatterproof glass for intruder protection.”
In the Francis Howell Central Media crew, senior Marlee Dunham served as the Technical News Director/ Coordinator. Dunham also served as the Francis Howell Central delegation leader.
19 total YAG members participated from Francis Howell Central.
Francis Howell High’s delegation consisted of 54 students. The following students served in leadership roles.
Allison Boczkiewicz, Emily Scott and Riley Weber served as Committee Chairpersons in the House. Scott served as Secretary in the House. Isabella Reed served as the Floor Leader in the Senate. Rebecca Amos served as a Media Director. Taylor Flemons and Gwyn Worobec were chosen as judges in the judicial branch.
Many students served in the legislature by presenting and defending their bills, as well as supporting or arguing against other delegations. Several students also served as lawyers in the judicial branch, where the students argued an appellate court case. Others worked in the media corps as reporters, covering a variety of events at the conference.
Five Francis Howell High students ran for the Executive Branch for next year’s conference. Ali Schultz was elected Speaker of the House, and also received Outstanding Statesperson in the House. Amos will again serve as Media Director. Weber and Scott received Outstanding Bill in the House. Reed received Outstanding Bill in the Senate