The students of Glendora High, representing the San Gabriel delegation, demonstrated that Youth and Government branches out beyond merely the perceived notion of politics.
Simulating the numerous components of the government, the Young Men’s Christian Association Youth and Government program allowed the delegation’s recent trip to Sacramento to become a testament of not only their growth as a participating group, but as individuals.
Class of 2020’s Khushi Patel is currently in her second year of being involved in the program where she came into Youth and Government not being particularly interested in the realm of politics. Thus, her first year involved participating in General Assembly, where she was among a sea of students who had to be persuaded to be more inclined to vote in a specific manner.
Feeling more comfortable this year, Patel decided to reverse the roles and acted as a Lobbyist in the program. Serving as a pro/con speaker, she was assigned into groups of four where she had to present a three minute speech towards the Assembly.
However, what made the experience so notable for the junior was that when one girl in her group failed to show up, the remaining three were forced to create an impromptu speech on the spot.
Patel stated that, “It was definitely a lot of fun because it challenged my group and allowed us to bond with one another.”
Elijah Romero added on to the subject of spontaneity by claiming that, “You’re never 100% ready. I was always the type of person who was nervous because I never felt prepared, but Youth and Gov taught me that you don't have to be.”
Contrasting Patel, Romero has aims to be a Congressman in the future.
Reflecting back, he notes that how his understanding of debate really cemented itself during his trip to Sacramento. He stated, “It’s really important to look at both sides in any argument and it helped me branch out by enabling me to see so many varying perspectives.”
To him, Sacramento was the best experience of his high school career. Romero went on to make history in the San Gabriel delegation as he got his proposed bill, which advocated to make all California state agencies only purchase zero emission vehicles beginning 2025, passed through the House, the Senate and then signed by the youth governor.
Sophomore Serena Lin also made achievements as her International Affairs proposal made it to General Assembly where her group placed in the top four.