Primary Prepares Youth for State

1 decade 1 year 7 months ago Saturday, October 07 2006 Oct 7, 2006 Saturday, October 07, 2006 5:47:46 PM CDT October 07, 2006 in News

As candidates and delegates fight for their bills, this is a different type of special session. This is the primary convention, preparing high school students for the 58th State Convention in Jefferson City.

"It's unreal, because they allow us to sit in the seats that the real reps and senators sit in. And when you're sitting there you can't help but put yourself in their shoes and when you're voting on the bills say 'is this really going to benefit the people of Missouri,'" said Josh Travis, a junior at Parkway South High School.

Sha Xu, a junior at Hickman High School, worked in the legislative branch.

"We have our actual trials, we write briefs, we write opinions as judges and we have full trials," she said.

Now she's campaigning for Attorney General.

Six hundred students participated in the event sponsored by the Missouri YMCA and the simulation features everything from governors and a legislature to lobbyists and press.

"It is a mock government, but at the same time it recreates it so well you almost feel like you are passing these bills," said student John Richey.

In the chambers and newsrooms of the convention it's easy to forget these are high school kids, but it's not just work. Among the favorite parts is a Governor's Ball.

As the kids go back to their meetings, it seems like only the occasional white sock may give their age away.

"When you come here you look, this must be a meeting of business professionals but no this 9 through 12 graders in high school," said Travis.

And in December the delegates will take over the steps of the State Capitol.

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