Hesperia Youth in Government Day
Bulldogs in City Council
For the twelfth year in a row, the Hesperia Unified School District is partnering with the Hesperia Chamber of Commerce to host an educational day called Youth in Government. On this day students picked from various schools in the HUSD get to take part in things like mock City Council meetings and learning about various departments. Seven of our very own Bulldogs from Oak Hills High School will be attending and participating.
Ariel Sanchez, an OHHS senior and participant said, “I am interested in government because it dictates a set of people’s laws and rights. The ability to affect this power positively, has always attracted me towards politics.”
Students are hopeful for the event, many are interested in the behind the scenes aspect while others want it for help with further educational information.
Melinda Sayre, a City of Hesperia Clerk and the coordinator of Youth in Government said, “The City holds Youth in Government annually to engage and inspire students to get involved with local government and hopefully even inspire some students to pursue a career in local government!”
Melinda has been coordinating the event since 2014 and has been involved since 2007, changing and modifying it as the years go on in order to make it more enjoyable for the students. Students are involved in a number activities to keep them involved within the City of Hesperia, even if it is just for a day.
“I really hope that students walk away from the program with some basic knowledge of local government operations that will assist and inspire them to be active community members at all stages of their life, no matter where they live,” says Sayre on her wishes for the student participants.
Students are given real government positions for this day and even have real topics to discuss and vote on. Many of the issues involve teens in some way, making it relatable to the students. Advanced Placement (AP) students are picked from their teachers and asked to fill out applications, only very few actually get to participate.
OHHS senior Gabriela Macias stated, “We will be shown around City Hall and meet representatives who will explain to us their jobs and how the different departments in the government function. Then, we will run a mock City Council meeting to approve two bills for $5000 each.”
Many of the students have remarked that they are excited for this experience, and many take notice to this happy attitude.
Sayre also stated, “Our student participants are always positive and enthusiastic. My favorite part of the day is watching the students interact in the roles as mock council members and staff.”
Students are prepped with the information that they will be presented with during the mock meeting so that way they have full understanding of the topics they are discussing. The students get to vote on actual bills that reflect the City of Hesperia and knowing all of the plans helps them to achieve a mutual decision.
“It reminds me of a debate… I’ve always like debates so hopefully I’ll be able to do good because I have all the information that I need,” said senior Julia Swanson.
Students arrive to the event at 7:45 on the morning of February 15th, and leave around 3:30 after their day full of tours and meetings.