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Monday November 21, 2016 at 3:27pm Age: 2 yrs
Category: High School


Minisink Valley’s Youth-In-Government students hosted hundreds of fellow members from 10 area schools participating in this year’s Steering Convention.  On Nov. 17, they arrived by the bus-full, ready to campaign for the political platforms of the opposing People's Party and Citizens Party.


Cathlyn Washington, a sophomore, ran and was elected for the State Assembly. “The most challenging aspect of this activity was making deals to advance my campaign,” she said. “I learned how to develop and deliver a good speech, and that will help me improve my confidence.”


Mukoko Kinzonzi, also a sophomore, was elected as a Family Court Judge. “This was a fun, learning experience. I had to talk to people, convey my ideas and persuade them of my qualifications,” he said.


Ryan Folger, a freshman, ran and was elected for the State Senate. “I really enjoyed watching how people reacted to campaigning. Everyone feels their point of view is the right one, so I admire the courage to express one’s political views,” Ryan said. “I was curious to see if people would be interested in and accept my own political ideas. This experience has made me more confident and comfortable. It also peeked my interest in politics and governance even more.”


“The convention is a unique opportunity to engage students at a very real political level. They make speeches, cut deals, seek common ground to compromise on issues, and elect nominees. This is the work of political parties, and this kind of experience and interaction with schools across the county is an incredible learning resource,” said Ezra Clementson, a social studies teacher and Youth-In-Government adviser. 


Other participating high schools were Chester, Cornwall, Florida, Highland Falls, Middletown, Newburgh, Pine Bush, Valley Central, Warwick and Washingtonville.


First inaugurated in 1944, Orange County’s Amy Bull Crist Youth-In-Government program works with schools to promote firsthand learning of the democratic process and the functioning of local government. Students participate in mock conventions, student run elections, and also shadow elected officials.