YMCA Youth and Government is a national YMCA program that allows high school and middle school students to serve in model government branches, such as legislative and judicial branches. When I first joined Youth and Government my freshman year, I was fascinated by creating bills and voicing my opinion as well as hearing others voice theirs. The first time I debated, I was encouraged by many upperclassmen and state officers. From that moment, I knew that I would be in this club for the rest of my high school career. As the year went on, I continued to debate, learn new things, meet incredible people, and form my own strong opinion. I then knew that I wanted to contribute more to Youth and Government and inspire others. My sophomore year, my bill ranked first at district conference and eighth at our conference. Ranking extremely high was a total surprise but my group’s hard work, dedication, knowledge, and passion pushed our bill to first. After this experience, my love for this program blossomed and my passion for debating flourished. This district conference, my bill ranked third and I had the incredible honor of serving as a committee chair. Serving as a committee chair during our meetings has been an amazing experience; I have felt privileged to lead my fellow delegates and be entrusted to create an atmosphere in which all delegates were comfortable to voice their opinions freely.
Being vice president of this wonderful club at William Floyd High School has granted me the opportunity to contribute to my home state and it has motivated me to pursue a political career in the future. Youth and Government has been the most meaningful and rewarding extracurricular activity I have been a part of because not only did it help me find my voice and opinions on controversial topics, but it also strengthened me as a public speaker and as a leader.