By Anna Claire Bullard
House Floor Leader
- This is Maggie Sparks’ second year in the Youth in Government program. She has fallen in love with the program because of the people she has met. She said she loves meeting new people from all over Alabama and hearing everyone’s different opinions. As more new people come into the program, she said she can help encourage them and spark debate when it is slow if she is House Floor Leader. Maggie is a student at Northside Methodist Academy in Dothan.
- Destiny Baugh said she’s running for 2018 House Floor Leader because the Youth in Government program has helped her feel supported and welcomed, and she wants to spread that joy to other people. She wants to help everyone get the most out of the program that they can, and she loves meeting new people and learning new people through the program. Destiny is a student at Mobile’s Davidson High School.
- Caroline Deale, a student at Montgomery Academy, has done Youth in Government for three years and wants to transform into a confident leader. She believes she is the most qualified candidate for House Floor Leader because she loves a good debate and has experience, a good attitude and skill.
- Jared Schaffer, a student at Spain Park High School, started his speech by defining what being a leader means to him: a leader constantly pushes the people around them to be their best self. He also told everyone how he loves to debate and meet people at Youth in Government events, and that he wants every one who comes through the ALYIG programs to have a good time like he has. Jared wants everyone to debate, support, and realize bills that others are passionate about.
Secretary of State
- Miller Johnson previously served as Senate Floor Leader, where she learned how to be a leader in the Youth in Government program. As Secretary of State, Miller wants to make the program the best it can be and take advantage of the many opportunities the program has to offer. She ended her speech by reminding delegates that the people you meet and the experience you get out of this program is life changing. She is a student at Trinity Presbyterian High School in Montgomery.
- Perry Courtney has been involved in Youth in Government for two years and wants to give back to the program that has given so much to her. She stated that she’s affirmative, yet easy going; loud, but a good listener; and organized, but laid back. She believes these qualities make her the best candidate for the Secretary of State officer position. Perry is a student at St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Mobile.
- Roma Pirnie, a student at the Montgomery Academy, has participated in Youth in Government for four years and has done speech and debate at school, which has given her confidence while public speaking. Pirnie told delegates that she is easy to approach and will be a great listener as House Pro-Temp.
- Nik Dworek, a student at Mountain Brook High School, believes that every leader must have three qualities: compassion, courage and inspiration. He wants to inspire everyone to do their best at Youth in Government events and find something they really love to do.
- Sean Shelley-Tremblay has spent two years in the House, and this year he served as a committee chair. He has come to love the House and has loved the opportunity to participate in Youth in Government programs. Sean is a student at Davidson High School in Mobile.
- John Wakefield does speech and debate at his school and believes he can make the program run better and get things done as Senate Pro-Temp. Wakefield stated that he wants to give back to the YMCA program that has given so much to him. He is a student at Montgomery Academy.
- Libya Lamberth has done Youth Legislature for three years. She wants to lead by example and be a humble servant. She also wants to keep moving up in Youth in Government and intends to give justice to the program. Libya is a student at St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Mobile.
Speaker of the House
- Austin Smith, from Brew Tech, began his speech by thanking a few seniors and friends who have helped make the program special to him. He also stated that although it is only his second year at the conference, he has loved his experience as a delegate and loves debating.
- Luckett Robinson, from St. Pauls, stated that a good leader invests in his teammates success. Robinson said that he has been a part of this program since eighth grade, and Youth Legislature holds a special place in his life. It has helped him find his voice and has helped him discover his love for the House. As Speaker of the House, Robinson hopes to give everyone the same experience he had and give everyone an opportunity to speak. He believes he is the best candidate for Speaker of the House because of his experience and devotion to the program.
First Year Presiding Officer
- Hannah Hale has been involved in Youth in Government since eighth grade and has had the honor to serve on Gov. Ford Cleveland’s Cabinet. She believes the First Year chamber is one of the most important chambers because it is where the future of the program begins. She closed her speech by thanking everyone for the effort they have put into the conference. Hannah is a student at the Montgomery Academy.
- LaShana Estes reminds delegates to think about how far we have all come since starting Youth in Government, and how she believes she can help the First Year delegates feel comfortable and encourage them. Estes understands that First Year delegates need to be guided well since they are the future of our program and stated that she will learn what she needs to learn in order to step up for the position as First Year presiding officer. LaShana is a student at Cherokee County High School.
- Madison Johnston said she has spent a lot of time in the Senate, where her love for debate was sparked. She believes she is the best candidate for a leadership position because she is involved in four varsity sports at school and has lead her own Bible study. She closed her speech by telling delegates that she hopes everyone has met new friends at the Youth in Government conferences. Madison is a student at Trinity Presbyterian School in Montgomery.
- Anne Mitchell Welch believes people must get involved in government in order to understand it. She started Youth in Government in ninth grade and promises to transform passive engagement into active engagement if she is elected lieutenant governor. Welch closed her speech by saying she believes that everyone can learn something new through Youth in Government programs and wants to help everyone learn. Anne Mitchell is a student at Mountain Brook High School.