Three students from Queensbury High School attended the 87th YMCA New York State Youth and Government State Conference March 24-26 at the Desmond Hotel and the state Capitol.
Makenzie Harrington, Isaiah Neves and Sade Maranville represented not only QHS but also YAG District 3, which includes students from Bolton, Johnsburg, Minerva, Newcomb, North Warren and Ticonderoga schools.
Youth and Government is a three-day experiential learning program in which students serve as part of a model state government, taking over the chambers of the New York State Senate and Assembly to debate bills they and their peers have written.
Students are offered the opportunity to learn about a wide variety of issues, develop critical thinking skills, and articulate their beliefs while engaging constructively with their peers from around the state.
The Queensbury students participated in the legislature and presented bills in the Assembly chamber and the Legislative Office Building Hearing Rooms.
Sade and Mackenzie introduced a Death with Dignity Bill, which passed in Senate Freedom but was vetoed by the Youth Governor. An attempt to override the veto was not successful.
Isaiah introduced a bill to lower the state mortgage tax, which was defeated in Assembly Freedom.
Students had the opportunity to meet and hear from Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado, state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, NY-20 Congressman Paul Tonko, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, and Troy City Council President Carmella Mantello.
Youth and Government is an extracurricular activity offered at QHS. Members met every Thursday from 2:05 to 3 p.m. from late September until March to prepare for the conference.
“I am very proud of the hard work and dedication each student puts into Youth and Government,” said YAG advisor Andy Terry. “It is not easy taking a position on an issue and defending it in front of 500 students from all over New York State.”