Forty-five students from across the 33rd Senate District attended State Senator Karen McConnaughay’s (R-St. Charles) Youth Advisory Council meeting on April 5 under the Capitol dome. This is McConnaughay’s second meeting with her Youth Advisory Council group, in which high school students learned more about state government and the legislative process as a two-part program throughout the school year.
“It was encouraging to see the level of engagement the students had during today’s activities,” said Senator McConnaughay. “It is a real boost to see the students so involved in all aspects of the Youth Advisory Council and eager to learn more about their government and the role they can play in driving public policy.”
During the students’ visit to the State Capitol they sat through several speaker sessions, engaged in policy discussions amongst themselves, and rounded out their day with a mock committee hearing.
Students heard from a variety of speakers, including Assistant Secretary of the Senate Scott Kaiser, State Representative Avery Bourne, Senator Chuck Weaver, Senator Tom Rooney, and lobbyist Dave Sullivan.
“We lined up a diverse group of speakers who met with the students, and offered the kids the opportunity to get a closer, inside look into state government,” said McConnaughay. “I am hoping that after this visit they see legislators as regular people who are doing their best to facilitate positive change in this state—and perhaps that could inspire these kids. I want them to know that one day they could be a senator, a representative or anything else they aspire to be.”
Students who attended the April 5 event participated in a mock committee hearing, where they were broken up into groups representing the major players in the realm of public policy including senators, lobbyists, concerned citizens, members of the media, and even the governor and staff. This simulation gave them a chance to debate the legislation they voted on in the fall.
The students were selected by their principals and teachers to take part in the civics program, representing the following high schools: Hampshire, Harry D. Jacobs, Harvest Christian Academy, Huntley, St. Charles North, and St. Charles East.
If you have any questions, or would like more information about McConnaughay’s annual Youth Advisory Council, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.senatormcconnaughay.com.