From November 20-23, 56 SJCS high school students joined 1,600 others from South Carolina in Columbia for the annual Youth in Government Conference.
St. Joseph’s had students participating in every aspect of the conference, including legislators, appeals attorney teams, multiple positions of leadership, lobbyists, a supreme court justice and candidates for office. Sophomores Camille Bradley and Maurena Supra ran for Comptroller General and Speaker of the House, respectively. While they were not successful in their campaign bids, they ran a solid and positive campaign.
Junior Ishan Lal, the current Youth Secretary of Education, ran for Youth Governor, the first SJCS student to do so, and was victorious! SJCS has its first YMCA Youth in Government Youth Governor. He was supported by the entire delegation and a core campaign staff.
Ishan also will also be representing the state of South Carolina YMCA YIG program as one of two S.C. students in Washington, D.C., this spring at National YIG Day, where he will meet with Congresspeople on the importance of YMCA YIG programs.
Other students recognized for their efforts at YIG were junior Lucina Frank, who received an Outstanding Statesman Award; sophomore Maurena Supra, who was appointed to attend the Committee on National Affairs; juniors Eliza Anderson and Emma Curran, who as an appeals team were selected to present the showcase trial, which they won, and they were selected to attend the National Judiciary Competition in Chicago this summer; and Jessica Gerac, who also was selected to attend the National Judiciary Competition this summer.
While many bill partners successfully got their bills passed out of committee and both chambers, only four legislative pairs achieved this and got the Youth Governor to sign their bills: seniors Jenna Maunsell and Elizabeth Tamura’s bill on anti-SLAPP legislation to protect free speech; juniors Abbey Elliott and Skylar Lewis’ bill on replacing plastic bags with biodegradable alternatives; junior Preston Norwood and sophomore Tyler Harvey’s bill on tax incentives for companies to move into low-income areas; and sophomores Abby Shafer and Sofia Cordi’s bill on not separating siblings in foster care.
SJCS graduate Kristen Kauffman (Class of 2016) received an Outstanding Resource Staffer Award.