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Presenting in the Kentucky senate chamber as a twelve-year old can be intimidating, but also relieving. You have been told for a dozen years that you are too young to influence your state’s government, yet you stand at a podium with a microphone to your mouth, a piece of legislation you have been anxiously awaiting to share, and a room filled with like-minded peers and supportive adults.
Beginning in 6th grade, I became part of a statewide mock-government program, Kentucky Youth Assembly, that allows middle and high school students to use their voice. Students take government roles and spend 3 days debating bills through house and senate chambers. Bills passed by the governor are presented to the governor of Kentucky to be reviewed and considered for legislation. Through this program, passion for playing a role, any productive role, in the United States government was sparked. I have participated in this program for 6 years, and served as the president of my school’s club, a delegate, a bill author, and was elected governor of the conference where I led 2,000 peers for a three-day conference. I presented speeches, regulated debate, pass or vetoed bills, and met with the Governor of Kentucky himself.
After finding my calling to government through this program, I have also pursued it by other means. I have served as the Vice-President of the Young Democrats of Kentucky, taken many courses regarding government including AP, applied and spent 5 weeks at a prestigious summer program studying Political and Legal issues, and volunteered with my local government. Today, I find a podium more comfortable than a chair, and the sound of debate and a gavel sweeter than music. I love the sound of democracy.
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