Forty-four students from across the 33rd Senate District attended State Senator Karen McConnaughay’s (R-St. Charles) Youth Advisory Council meeting on April 18 under the Capitol dome. This is McConnaughay’s second meeting with her Youth Advisory Council group, in which high school students learn more about state government and the legislative process as a two-part program throughout the school year.
“It was encouraging to see how engaged these students are with what is going on at the state level,” 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, watched Senate Floor action from the gallery, engaged in policy discussions amongst themselves, and rounded out their day with a mock committee hearing.
“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 their visit today, they become even more engaged in the legislative process and even think about choosing it as a career.”
Students who attended the April 18 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 event.
The students were selected by their principals and teachers to take part in the civics program, representing the following high schools: Geneva, Harry D. Jacobs, Huntley, Harvest Christian, St. Charles North, and St. Charles East.