Stepping into a Youth and Government convention

Julia Rhodes, Senior Staff Writer

Youth and Government is a student government club at St. Joe. It’s proving to be one of SJA’s most educational and rewarding clubs. It is the perfect extracurricular for those interested in law and those interested in making a change as a lawyer or as a bill writer. This club recreates real-life government and law situations, and the students take on the jobs of attorneys, judges, lawyers, etc. Not only is it educational, but also it is enjoyable.  

The club recently partook in their yearly convention along with students from many different schools across the state who are interested in the working of our state government. However, this year it looked a little different than most because the whole event took place via Zoom. This particular convention focuses on the students imitating attorneys and debating certain topics. 

One topic that was debated was whether or not Murrelet County should be able to open their legislative meetings with prayer for the Druid religion. Two of the girls representing St. Joe in this debate were Avery Scheiner and Katie Waltz.

“I took away how to properly do a debate and what it would be like to be an attorney. I really liked this because it was fun to defend our side and think about what we need to make our rebuttal. It was stressful, but fun when you finished it,” Katie said.

Lexi Hartman, Sydney Schlanger, and Sahiti Mumgandi at the virtual Youth and Government Convention.

They were on the judicial side and debated the side that they were told too, but they had to learn and understand both sides. This was both Katie and Avery’s first year participating in YAG and they seemed to have enjoyed it a lot. 

“It was such a fun experience, and I will definitely be doing it again next year,” Avery says.

Another fun feature is that the judges are students as well. In the beginning of the school year, students signed up to serve as judges. The judges ask questions, and they keep the debates running smoothly. Therefore, the entire debate is led by students.  

Delegation zooms also took place throughout the convention. These were specific meetings with only the SJA students, monitored by Mrs. Landherr and Mr. Westlake, where the girls could talk to one another about their roles and how their bill was progressing.

In the end, St. Joe students did an excellent job representing the school. Grace Bradley was appointed to Speaker of the House. Lilly Sadlo, Olivia Brinegar, and Caroline Mentel all made it to the semi finals for the judicial branch; in fact, Lilly Sadlo even made it to the finals. Finally, Grace Bradley, Megan Wilcutt, Lily Bayer, and Addie Englmeyer all had bills that got passed. 

This is all proof of the incredible ways St. Joe prepares its students for future real-life jobs and situations. The members of this club take away so much from the short time that they get to participate in it here at SJA.