A group of high school students interested in government met recently with state Rep. Robert Pritchard, R-Hinckley, to form his 2014 Youth Advisory Council.
Each school year since Pritchard took office, he has assembled representatives from the local high schools in his district to discuss current events, learn more about state and local governments, and share their ideas about laws and issues important to youth. These juniors and seniors are chosen by their high school or volunteer.
“I enjoy explaining the legislative process and how citizens can be influential in their government at the state and local levels,” Pritchard said. “But just as important is the feedback from youth about issues before the legislature that affect them; it’s a two-way process.”
Pritchard created the council as one way to engage students in current affairs, learn about careers in public service, and visit with their elected officials. At the first meeting they discussed the general election results, voting patterns, and issues before the Legislature during the veto session. The Youth Advisory Council holds four sessions and culminates in a two-day field trip to Springfield. Members will meet with constitutional officers, state staff, and lobbyists; give presentations to a mock committee hearing; as well as tour the Lincoln Museum and state capitol.
Members are Andrew McComb, Sycamore; Omar Aguilar, Kaneland; Julia Lemp, Kaneland; Catie Beaman, Burlington Central; Nicole Curatti, Hampshire; Levi Novotny, Hiawatha; Francis Elmore, Hiawatha; Katie Arndt, DeKalb; Jason Ostenburg, DeKalb; Andrew Sherman, Burlington Central; Parker Majerus, Sycamore; Rachel Reifsteck, Sycamore; Paris Killingsworth, DeKalb; Nicholas Rigas, DeKalb; Nathalie Scheid, DeKalb; Jessica Smith, DeKalb; Alex Siksna, Genoa-Kingtson; Jacob Kryca, Genoa-Kingston; and Jenee Carlson, Sycamore.