On January 21, Tappan Zee High School’s Youth and Government Club hosted more than 100 delegates from Pearl River, Nyack, North Rockland, Middletown and White Plains for the annual Alliance of the New York State YMCA’s District Four Youth and Government Conference.
YMCA Youth and Government is an experiential learning program in which high school students participate in a model state government, culminating with a three-day conference in Albany where they debate original bills in the New York State Assembly and Legislature.
The half-day district conference is designed to help members prepare for the statewide event in March. Members of the YAG Legislative branch debated their bills and the Judicial branch reviewed their cases. Members of the Press Corps moderated a panel interview with NYS Senator Bill Weber, Orangetown Supervisor Teresa Kenny, NYS Justice Linda Christopher and Rockland County Legislator Beth Davidson.
TZHS YAG Club Co-President and Committee Chair Mary M. said, “I just love the Youth and Government program so much. I’ve been a member since I was in middle school. It has really helped me develop leadership skills and has shaped me into a more mature person. I’m really looking forward to hearing our members present their bills at the state conference in March so we can see how much they have grown since September.”
TZHS YAG Club Co-President Valencia M. added, “I’m the Commissioner of Taxation and this year is my first time being a Cabinet member. It’s been really interesting to see everything from the leadership side and not just acting as a delegate.”
Mary, Valencia and Michael H. each won run-off elections to run for a presiding officer position at the upcoming state conference. “I’ve had such a great time participating in Youth and Government because it’s given me the opportunity to try something new because I normally focus on classes and activities in engineering,” said Michael, who serves as a Justice. “I’m really looking forward to the state conference because it’s interesting to hear how people argue the case differently.”