2017-18 Kenosha County Youth in Governance participants announced

Kenosha County Youth in Governance swore in its newest class of 14 local high school students earlier this summer.

Participants serve as advisory members of the County Board’s six standing committees, plus the Kenosha Joint Services Board. They attend meetings and have the opportunity to contribute to discussions just the same as the elected supervisors who make up the committees. The students are paired with a mentor member of each committee.

“Youth in Governance does an outstanding job of getting some of our community’s best and brightest teens involved in government at a young age,” said County Executive Jim Kreuser. “These are our future leaders.”

Members are nominated, often by teachers, before undergoing an in-depth interview process. For the 2017 program year, there were 260 nominees, 20 of whom were interviewed by current and past YIG participants and members of the County Board’s Planning, Development and Extension
Education Committee.

“The youths we get that apply for Youth in Governance, they’re always so amazing,” said Supervisor Erin Decker, chairwoman of the Planning, Development and Extension Education Committee. “They’re all bright and active and just great. It’s always great to see a bunch of
people who you know that, in the future, they’re going to do well.”

In order to be considered for YIG participation, applicants must be Kenosha County residents in 10th or 11th grade with a grade-point average of 2.5 or greater. Participants are required to attend the monthly meetings of their assigned committee, plus at least one full County Board meeting during their one-year term. They are also required to participate in a bus tour – a one-day crash course in all of the functions of county government – at the start of the term.

Terms run from May to May. High school juniors completing their first term have the opportunity to apply to return for a second year.

County Board Chairwoman Kim Breunig has been a champion of Youth in Governance since it began. What was then an experiment for Kenosha County has become a model for governments elsewhere in Wisconsin that have launched similar programs.

“I don’t think there’s ever been a youth who came out of there saying ‘that was a waste of my time,’” Breunig said. “Whether they talk in the committee meetings or not, I think they always learn something.”

“I love this program,” Breunig added. “I think it was one of the best things that Kenosha County ever did.”

The 2017-’18 Youth in Governance class includes:

  • Jeremy Jin, Finance and Administration Committee.
  • Emma Heller-Cavener, Finance and Administration Committee.
  • Megan Setter, Human Services Committee.
  • Na’Kia Hughes, Human Services Committee.
  • Jamal Hanson, Joint Services Board.
  • Janaki Rawal, Joint Services Board.
  • Morgan Kolimaga, Judiciary and Law Committee.
  • Anna Delisi, Judiciary and Law Committee.
  • Isabella Ricker, Legislative Committee.
  • Aubriana Maedke, Legislative Committee.
  • Jonathan Filiatreault, Planning, Development and Extension Education Committee.
  • Julia Arturi, Planning, Development and Extension Education Committee.
  • Alexander Dawson, Public Works and Facilities Committee.
  • Aiden Moore, Public Works and Facilities Committee.

For more information about Kenosha County Youth in Governance, please visit http://kenosha.uwex.edu/youth-development/youth-in-governance/.

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