Youth and Government goes to state

Hannah Prentice, Memorial Staff Writer

On Feb. 16-18, Memorial’s Youth and Government Club competed in state at the Oklahoma State Capitol.

Within YAG, there are a number of separate branches, some of which are legislative, judicial, media, lobbyists and youth commission. Senior Karena Zhao participates in the judicial branch of YAG.

“The judicial branch is mainly comprised of mock trials,” Zhao said. “I’ve been a witness, an attorney and for the past two years I have had the honor of serving as a judge.”

Zhao served as presiding of the mock trial and was selected along with senior Gavin Heltzer to attend the National Judicial Competition in August as a part of Oklahoma’s 32-member premier team.

Dr. Beth Evans, the sponsor of Memorial’s Youth and Government program, has a deep appreciation for the program after having participated herself during her high school years.

“Youth and Government gives high school students the opportunity for a real-world, hands-on experience in state government through legislative, judicial, executive, and media sections,” Evans said.

On the first day of state, the students attended a panel meeting of Oklahoma Government officials. Students were able to ask questions throughout the panel. On the second day, the groups separated into their respective branches and competed in their individual events.

Ten Memorial students attended the state events, and along with the achievements of Heltzer and Zhao, freshman Kulsoom Ghias and junior Amelia Bond were chosen to attend the Conference on National Affairs in July. They will serve as part of Oklahoma’s 25-member delegation.

The Memorial Youth and Government program will continue to create an environment for students to mimic the lifestyle of actual Oklahoma Government officials.

Contact Hannah Prentice at [email protected]