Obama Youth and Government Club win top awards, praise in Harrisburg

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Obama Youth and Government Club win top awards, praise in Harrisburg

Courtesy of Pete Vitt

Courtesy of Pete Vitt

Courtesy of Pete Vitt

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The Obama Youth and Government Club (YAG) had a very successful weekend in the Capitol Building in Harrisburg this past weekend. The group passed three bills, received two special honors, featured Outstanding Appellee attorneys who became the overall winners and received four bids to attend this year’s National Affairs Conference.

Mr.Vitti is the sponsor of the Obama YAG club, and he and his students put a great deal of time into their work. Naturally, he was overjoyed about his group’s showing in Harrisburg. “I am very proud; they represented us very well,” he said. Over 400 students were in attendance at the event, with 38 of those coming from Obama.Mr.Vitti named senior Jordan Pollard and Junior Ean Quick as the two “most impressive” students and were the two lawyers who won the overall competition by arguing their case. Mr.Vitti proudly noted that in a short period of time, “we were pretty much running everything.”

Obama’s Erik Rauterkus was the 2013 Governor, while Ben Junker served as Lieutenant Governor. Anna Vitti was the Editor in Chief this year.

Youth and Government is a club that meets year round on a bi-weekly basis.There is a great deal of practice and training, but the reward of becoming adept at working within the legislative environment is incredible. Mr.Vitti urges any student with an interest to join the club at the beginning of the year, come to the three mandatory Saturday meetings and become a part of a great endeavor.

Ean Quick would to have a career in politics and in particular would one day like to be Secretary of State, a role currently filled by John Kerry. With this in mind, being a part of YAG was a natural for him, and his visit to Harrisburg had him in the role of an attorney representing Obama Academy this year. He called the experience “positive and fun.”  He feels that he did more work than many of the actual people in the legislature these days.

While the entire process went well of Ean, he did especially well at crunch time. ” In the final round, the hostess asked me a question and I shut them down. It was easy after that,” he said. Mr.Vitti was proud of both of his attorneys and said, “I had chills while Jordan Pollard argued his case in the Supreme Court as he got peppered with questions by the seven justices in the finals of the judicial portion of the program.”

In the end, Tobias Raether was selected as Outstanding Committee Chair and Jonah Raether was selected as Outstanding Journalist. Ean Quick and Jordan Pollard were selected as Outstanding Appellee Attorneys and were the overall winners of a case that was argued by over 50 student attorneys and in front of seven YAG Supreme Court Justices.

Joel Macklin (The Eagle Online Co-Executive Editor), Ben Junker, Olivia Perfetti and Erik Rauterkus were given bids to attend this year’s Conference on National Affairs in North Carolina. Finally, Emma Somers, Grant Rauterkus and Rohun Joseph had their bills passed and signed into law, out of a pool of 300 bills.Only 26 bills overall made it through the process.

“These guys did an incredible job this weekend,” Mr.Vitti said ” I overheard an advisor in the hallway saying, ‘All of those Obama kids are really smart.’ Our students represented us well over a packed-full three-day weekend.”

Joel Akrie contributed to this report.

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