YAG–Youth and Government Club; A trip to Harrisburg? Not so boring after all.

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Youth and Government…

To some it may sound tedious, but in reality is it one of the most exciting and intense clubs at Obama.

Also known as YAG, the Youth and Government club gets together every other week and provides students with the hands-on experience of state government.

To sum YAG up, all of the meetings are in preparation for “Model.” “Model” (named so because it is a model of what real state government is like) takes place in Harrisburg, during the spring. All of the YAG clubs in Pennsylvania get together to debate which bills (each delegate makes a bill sometime throughout the year) should pass.  Just like in a real state government, the bill has to pass in both the “House of Representatives” and “Senate.” Then the YAG “governor” signs the bill, if he or she thinks it’s a good bill. Occasionally (but not often) a bill will even be considered by the real Pennsylvania state government.

One of the meetings in preparation for “Model” took place just last month. The club took a bus to Butler County to attend the 2011 elections convention, where all of the clubs of Western Pennsylvania meet to vote on which delegates  (club members) will hold a position in office.

This year’s convention was a success for Obama Academy: all delegates who ran for office got the position they wanted.

The club will also attend “pre- leg” later in the year, where they will meet with other clubs and discuss which bills to propose at “Model.” This is the chance for the delegates to edit their bills, and also to practice debating.

Then of course, the YAG club goes to Harrisburg for Model.

Mr. Vitti, (TOK teacher and club sponsor) encourages other students to join YAG by saying this:

“YAG is a good opportunity for students to become more confident speaking in front of others and to learn the workings of our state government. It also opens up the door to many other opportunities. I know many YAG members who have made college and career choices based on what they learned from their YAG experience. Furthermore, it’s a great way to make new friends from different areas of the state and it is useful later in life since networking is an important part of the workplace. YAG is fun and a great learning experience because it is almost completely student-run. I think students learn better when they are in control of their learning. There is also a competitive atmosphere to YAG which I think helps the learning process. It think it really teaches students how politics work regarding the necessity to compromise.”

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