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  • Writer's pictureEmerging Media

YAG Multiple Perspectives


The YAG conference is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in government. This year I took the role as a judge. As one of the twenty-five chosen students, my role was to go to trials, ask questions, and score the attorneys. In my free time, I would help students from all schools and give them advice on their cases. This year I also ran for Chief Justice which added quiet a bit of stress for me. I worked even harder to make sure all the other judges and advisors knew I would be fit to be Chief Justice next year. Luckily, my hard work paid off and led to me acting as lead judge for a semi-final case (which is a big deal), assisting the Chief Justice with the final trial, and assuming my role as Chief Justice for the 2020 YAG conference. This conference was very enjoyable and was my most memorable one so far.


I remember the bus ride to YAG: I was nervous, excited, and scared all at once. It was my first time in senate and my first time as a committee chair. I had no idea what to expect or how things would turn out. In the end, though, all my worries were for nothing; it was one of the best experiences of my life. With the determination to do the best I could and a stream of people constantly supporting me, the conference went great! Honestly, there’s so much to talk about that I don’t even know where to begin. One of the most memorable experiences I had was my time in senate. I was apprehensive about doing it, to be honest. The stereotypes about senate were very intimidating: that senate was mean, that senate would tear your bill apart, that senate was the most intense part about YAG. And to be fair, it was more serious than my time in house, but the people there were so kind, welcoming, and encouraging. For example, when I was presenting my bill, but the committee ran out of time, everyone voluntarily stayed to debate my bill despite using up their own time for dinner. Everyone voiced their honest opinion and helped encourage me to be more confident with my own viewpoints. Also, everyone in senate did the honor of choosing me as their next lieutenant governor. I actually got 100% of the votes, but to be fair, I was the only choice.


I will forever be grateful to the Youth and Government program. This year I got the chance to speak and represent myself in front of hundreds of kids from a variety of schools. I was given the opportunity to meet the most intelligent, driven, passionate kids that our youth has to offer, and I can confidently say I met lifelong friends. Youth and Government has truly changed my life. Sitting on the house floor gazing at all of the other delegates, I came to the realization that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I want to be a state representative, I want to have my voice and the voices of others heard. YAG has given me the opportunity to discover something I love and this is something I will never be able to repay.


YAG consists of a healthy combination of working hard and playing harder—and it did so this year more than ever. Being an attorney for the judicial branch is a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth it. The adrenaline rush of presenting the argument you spent months preparing outweighs the painstaking hours poring over the case and precedents. If you do well enough in your preliminary trials, you are given the chance to move onto the semifinals. Preparation for the semifinals is surreal; everyone seems to be on steroids, with a pen and one hand and an Ultra Blue Monster—every delegate’s drug of choice—in the other. The scheduled time for prep is from 10:30 pm to midnight, but most will carry on their work through later in the night and early into the next morning. When the time comes for the semifinals trial, you have half the judicial branch as your audience. The tension in the room is palpable and everyone anticipates their turn to speak. The unease lingers even after the trial, as you wait the dreaded twenty minutes for them to announce the results of the case. I had the privilege of losing to the brilliant Caroline Gaughan, who went on to win in the final round. My experience as an attorney for YAG is an invaluable one that I would not trade for the world.

On top of preparing as an attorney, I also ran a campaign for Attorney General, the head of the judicial branch. I made a trifold poster board with my campaign platform, handed out stickers, and even gave a speech and answered questions in front of the whole six-hundred-person conference. I went into a run-off election, but ultimately I did not get the position. Although some might consider my campaign unsuccessful, I would call it anything but. I made so many friends and learned a lot about myself from the trials and tribulations of campaigning—I loved every second of it. YAG is the highlight of my year and I would go back to Jefferson City and do it again in a heartbeat.


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