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Miller YMCA Youth & Government Delegation Takes Top Honors
The Miller Family YMCA of Newbury Park’s Youth & Government teen delegation returned from a President’s Day weekend conference in Sacramento with a number of awards and individual honors.
The Miller Y delegation is comprised of 50 teens from Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks and La Reina high schools. While in Sacramento, the delegation debated bills, fought court cases and met teens from across the state.
“Over the course of the program, our delegation created two legislative bills that were debated by program participants on the California State Senate and Assembly floors,” says Jessica Bringelson, Miller Y membership, family and teen director. “This program provides delegates with the opportunity to experience government first-hand and to learn how to solve community problems through the democratic process as well as debate and discuss issues with their peers from throughout California. The first bill was an act that requires all drivers to keep their pets restrained in the back seat to prevent distracted driving. The second bill mandated that all public schools teach comprehensive sex education. Both bills passed the Youth Senate and Assembly.”
Two Miller delegates received awards. Ian Bertram, a senior at Newbury Park High School, won the “Committee Chair of the Year” award. Delegates are selected to be committee chairs and are responsible for running committee groups of about 40 teens. “Out of all the delegates that were committee chairs this year, Ian was selected as ‘Committee Chair of the Year,’ which is a big honor,” says Bringelson.
Another delegate, Connor Lavi, a senior at Newbury Park High School, was awarded the “Spirit of IAC Award.” The IAC (International Affairs Commission) is a group of about 250 teens, who work together to create and present solutions to international problems.
Courtney Brousseau, a junior at Newbury Park High School, was elected Youth District Attorney by his peers. As Youth District Attorney, Brousseau assumed a leadership role in the Youth and Government Jury Trial program.
The Miller Y delegation was one of 35 delegations out of almost 100 that received a “Delegation of Distinction”
“The Youth & Government program is an amazing opportunity for high school teens to gain leadership and public speaking skills and learn about real life government procedures while emulating legislation on a state level,” says Bringelson. “Along the way, teens travel on three trips, grow as a delegation and meet teens from across California. It is a wonderful, life changing experience.”
Before the high school Youth & Government program, the Y offers Model United Nations (MUN) for middle school students. MUN is the precursor to Youth & Government and introduces participants to public speaking and leadership skills. Middle school students, called ambassadors, participate in the program with their peers.
“The MUN program is just beginning and we are looking for more delegates to join the team,” says Bringelson. MUN meets every Wednesday evening, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Sycamore Canyon School. For more information, contact Bringelson at 805-480-0309, jbringelson@