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The Daily Delegate

Junior High Involvement at Conference: “I Think They Need It.”

Author: Lila Lindeen

Santa Fe, NM- The key message of the Youth and Government (YAG) organization is that the youth “lead the way.” YAG is expanding this mission by implementing middle schoolers visiting the roundhouse and experiencing more aspects of YAG conferences and delegatory responsibilities.

Our journalists went right to the source of the excitement and interviewed two eighth graders, David Burke (AIMS) and Frankie Romero (Moriarty). Frankie Romero expressed that his interest started with the encouragement of his older sibling as well as urging from his mother to enter any and all extracurriculars. He and Burke expressed similar sentiments about the skills gained from the YAG experience including public speaking, social skills, presentation abilities, and leadership skills.

“I feel like the youth…in itself has to learn how to do it (government) because we’re the future of our country…” said Romero when asked to comment on the tried-and-true statement, “We lead the way.” Burke shared his ideas and more, “I think it showcases a lot of what people do here at YAG, especially with how our government works and what we can do.” Their responses highlight the impact that YAG has on the confidence, influence, and competence of young minds.

(David Burke, AIMS)

One perspective our journalists took into account was that of an ex-advisor and chaperone of the middle school delegates visiting the YAG 2024 conference. 

“I think they need it. They need more activities that are gonna develop their skills and even just learning about it in middle school, this day, you know, it gets them excited for when they participate in high school,” said our anonymous chaperone when asked her opinions on taking the YAG message to younger ages like middle schoolers. She continued to say youth in government are “a [voices] that [are] needed, you know, and a perspective that’s needed. With what’s happening in the world, the youth are gonna feel it so much more.”

The message that both the youngest and oldest members of the junior high YAG trip communicated was conclusive: youth participation is crucial to the execution of government for both youth comprehension and the reflection of the youth’s perspective on government actions.

(Frankie Romero, Moriarty)

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