Middle school students in Charleston

By Journal

Local Berkeley County students and teachers returned from an exciting three-day learning experience in Charleston with the Youth Leadership Association’s 8th Grade Youth & Government Seminars. Selected representatives from Spring Mills Middle, Musselman Middle, Martinsburg North, Hedgesville Middle, and Mountain Ridge Middle Schools were at the State Capitol. While there the youth and their chaperones had the opportunity to tour the Capitol, Culture Center, many offices of state officials, visit the Kanawha County Magistrate Night Court Session, and observe floor sessions of the Senate or House from the Galleries. During a visit to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, they had the honor of meeting and interacting with the sitting Supreme Court Justices while learning the court’s rich history.

Other activities included participating in a mock trial held at the Robert C. Byrd U.S. Courthouse and a mock legislative session, with Mr. Tom Tinder. Sponsored by the Ohio-West Virginia Youth Leadership Association, the youth also invite the legislators from their home district to attend the YLA Legislative Dinner with them. This gives the youth the opportunity to have one-on-one decisions with their legislators expressing their ideas and asking questions.

“These seminars are a fantastic opportunity for our students to learn more about state government. They are able to see Charleston in action and come out of the seminar with a better understanding of how the government all works together. They experience some amazing things and meet some inspiring people. They learn that ours is a people’s government and someday, they too can serve our great state of West Virginia,” said David King, YLA director.

For more information on the YLA 8th Grade Youth & Government Seminars or any of the other YLA programs, contact the Youth Leadership Association at yla@ylaleads.org, call 304-675-5899, or visit our website ylaleads.org. Staff is available to help every community become involved in these life-changing programs.