Everyone in the world is influenced, whether it be with what type of music people listen to, or the TV shows one would watch. Everyone influences you in a way that could be huge or small. The Youth in Government program is full of youth who have been influenced by parents, teachers or other students to join this program, and the same can be said for the adults of YIG, too. This program is so influential because “It teaches leadership,” according to Timothy Olson, a teacher at Rogers High School. Olson has been participating in YIG for six years, thanks to his daughter’s interest, and loves it. He, along with other adults, believes, “Leadership is a very hard thing to teach because a lot of kids don’t get the opportunity to be in a leadership role.”
Every person who participates in the program gets something out of it. It could be from public speaking skills, confidence gained by speaking one’s mind, or most importantly, everyone gets to be in a leader at least once during their time at YIG. Even people who are new to the program get to step up and experience what it takes to be a leader in a whole new light. Kayla Tester from the Elk River Delegation states, “Even though this is my first year, I’ve heard so much about YIG and I can’t wait to gain new experiences in the program.”
Nobody leaves Youth in Government on Sunday as the same person that came into the hotel Thursday afternoon. Everyone changes at least a little bit with the new skills or friendships one can make over the course of the four days of the conference. YIG is more than just youth participating in a mock government, it spreads confidence and gives independence to all that participate. It gives adult experiences to youth, something truly remarkable that could not be kept anywhere else in Minneapolis.
Written by: Emily Barrett