By Samuel Womack
The Youth in Government program, hosted by the YLA (Youth Leadership Association) for the state of West Virginia, places students in mock government roles and has them imitate the legislative and judicial processes carried out within the capitol complex in Charleston, West Virginia. This past program, which spanned over the weekend from April 22nd to the 24th, witnessed a number of students from the James Monroe High School YLA delegation elected to high profile positions within the program. The program itself has many positions that one may be elected to, spanning from Youth Council Presidents, officers that oversee councils, all the way to Youth Governor of the State of West Virginia, the chief officer of the legislative portion of the program itself. This past program, the JMHS delegation saw three of it’s members elected to positions, them being Matthew Meadows as Youth Governor, Samuel Womack as Youth President of the Senate, and Austin Toney as Youth Clerk of the House of Delegates. The role of each of these positions is important to the program, and undertakes many responsibilities vital to the success of Youth in Government. The Youth Governor takes on most of the responsibilities of the actual Governor and makes the final decision in the passage of bills. In addition to this, the position makes many decisions in regard to setting the program up and is the chief officer in the legislative portion of the program. The Youth President of the Senate, along with being Youth Lieutenant Governor, oversees debate in the senate and directs debate and voting procedures for bills. Finally, the Youth Clerk of the House of Delegates is responsible for keeping track of schedule, organizing bills that have passed, failed, and have not been heard on the floor, voting, and some other clerical duties that ensure the legislative process remains smooth and collected. With the election of these offices, it is the first time in the history of the JMHS delegation that the Youth Governor is a student at our local high school; it is also the first time that a Youth President of the Senate is from James Monroe. This is a historic moment for the delegation, as it is relatively young, having only attended this program for four years, as compared to some other delegations who have attended for over forty years. The outcome of the elections has been a great honor bestowed upon the local delegation, and will surely increase participation in this program.