“Democracy Must Be Learned by Each Generation”: The Importance of Elevating Student Voice

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August 13, 2018 11:18 am

At the start of my sophomore year of high school, a friend introduced me to a statewide Pennsylvania Youth and Government (YAG) program. “You get to write laws,” I remember her saying excitedly, while showing me the more than 500 pages of student bills. “You’re like a legislator.” Every student bill that was signed by the program’s youth governor landed on the desk of Pennsylvania’s real governor to consider as legitimate legislation. To me, the concept of having the chance to advise state policy as an adolescent was revolutionary. During the next three years, YAG gave me the confidence to voice the opinions that I previously thought were unworthy of consideration and I became aware of policy issues I did not know existed. The program changed my life, and the skills I gained from it will be long lasting.  

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