2022 DELAWARE YOUTH IN GOVERNMENT CONFERENCE GREAT RETURN TO BASICS FOR DELEGATES
From physically-signed bills to fiery face-to-face debates, this year’s Delaware Youth in Government conference was a nice callback to the last in-person conference in 2019.
Dover, Delaware; April 10, 2022 – After two years of virtual conferences, Youth in Government is back in Dover for the 2022 Main Conference.
The conference began with an energizing virtual Opening Ceremony on Friday, April 8th. Anesha introduced the 2022 leadership team: Youth Governor Kemper Cole, Chief Justice Claire Andreasen, Editor-in-Chief Jiya Patel, and Chief Lobbyist Mythili Satheesh. The Governors’ Debate and Chief Justice Debate occurred during this time. Although Nathan Cho is running unopposed for Youth Governor, there is a close race between the Chief Justice candidates Arielle Flaherty and Sara Brick.
Delegates arrived in Dover at Legislative Hall early on Saturday morning. Each branch hit the ground running, dividing and conquering Legislative Hall and Kent County Courthouse. The Legislative branch began presenting bills while the Judicial branch jumped into arguments. Lobbyists started to practice their speeches and press handed out article assignments.
Excited voices carry in the buildings, and we reflect on why Youth in Government was formed in the first place. Youth in Government, most commonly known as YIG, seeks to expose high school students to the inner workings of government as well as prepare them for future government professions. This organization is largely led by students along with a handful of advisors. The leadership team has worked tirelessly to ensure that the conference runs smoothly.
Delegates were rewarded for their hard work with a delicious luncheon catered by Chipotle. Students gather around the table and dig into their well-earned meal. Both current and past YIG members advocate for the program because of the lifelong friendships and connections they have gained from the experience. Katie Gatelein, a third-year lobbyist remarked, “Although my time at YIG has been short, the bonds I’ve made are long lasting and the outcomes of this conference will follow me for the rest of my life.”
The highlight of the weekend was Senator Sarah McBride’s unplanned visit to Legislative Hall. She spoke with Youth Governor Kemper Cole and watched Dylan Thomas present her bill titled “This is What Democrats are Doing to Your Children.” Her bill regards making gender-affirming medications more readily available. The senator demonstrated kindness in accepting photo requests and questions from delegates, who were grateful for the opportunity to speak to an accomplished government figure.
YIG members returned for the last day of the conference on Sunday. Each branch finalized their work from the weekend. The closing ceremony honors all delegates for their passion and participation, but gives special recognition to exceptional delegates. The day ends with tearful goodbyes as delegates look forward to another amazing conference next year.