South Orangetown Central School District

The Tappan Zee High School Youth and Government (YAG) Club participated in the New York State YMCA Youth and Government Judicial State Conference last month!

During the conference on March 24-26, nine students served in statewide leadership positions. Senior Meline K. served as Editor-in-Chief of the Press Corps, senior Ailish M. served as Chief Justice, senior Matthew T. served as Secretary of State, senior Anna P. served as Commissioner of Correctional Services, sophomore Mary M. served as Commissioner of Transportation, sophomores Nuala M. and Isabella P. served as justices, and sophomores Isa M. and Valencia M. served as Committee Chairs.

“It was the first time New York State District 4 had the position of Chief Justice and it has been really great to see the growth of the attorneys over the years,” said TZHS YAG Judicial Chair Ailish. TZHS YAG Co-President Meline added, “It was so great to be back in the capitol and see all of the delegates shine in their respective branches. You can tell how devoted each member of the club is.” Over the course of the weekend, the TZHS YAG earned a number of honors:

  • In the legislative branch, six out of seven of their bills passed. Anna C., Cole M. and Matthew T. won “Outstanding Bill” and Cate D. won “Outstanding Debater.”
  • In the judicial branch, student attorneys won four out of ten of their cases and Madison C. won “Best Attorney”
  • Four students were chosen for the Conference on National Affairs: Mary M., Valencia M., Matthew T. and Meline K., with Ailish M. as an alternate.
  • Madison C. was chosen for the National Judicial Competition, with Michael H. and Sarah K. as alternates.

Students also had the opportunity to speak with New York State Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado. “He talked about what motivates him, why he went into politics, how to be a leader and the importance of knowing your strengths,” said TZHS YAG Co-President Matt. 

Many students in TZHS YAG began with the Debate Club at South Orangetown Middle School and intend to volunteer as college advisors at future conferences when they graduate from TZHS. “I feel that participating in Youth and Government has made us better students. We have been working towards this event all year so we had to be organized, work on balancing our time and it also provided us with an opportunity to practice our public speaking skills,” explained Meline.

TZHS Youth and Government