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By Savanna Bolin
Negative assumptions are commonly made about the careless agendas of today’s teenagers. However, many local teens are taking advantage of opportunities to prove those judgments wrong.
Y-Club, a club in operation at public schools throughout Kentucky, is compromised of students with an interest in serving their communities and bettering the world. Functioning mostly on a community level, Y-Club members expand their horizons at statewide conventions that occur twice a year. The Kentucky Youth Assembly (KYA) isn’t held until late in the year, but the Kentucky United Nations Assembly (KUNA) is scheduled to take place March 18 through 20.
KUNA is a conference in which students represent a country and attempt to find solutions to problems through pitching ideas, debating the issues and voting to make decisions. Students who participate get the chance to not only educate themselves about the differing cultures of countries all over the world, but get a real-life learning experience about the way that the government operates.
“You learn a lot about yourself and your government, and it’s a great way to develop leadership skills and to grow almost as a family with your teammates,” said Central Hardin High School senior DoMonique Frayser, speaking positively of her experiences at both KUNA and KYA.
Experiences such as those offered at Y-Club affiliated conferences are also available to private schooled students and students who are homeschooled, through a program known as TeenPact. TeenPact hosts a class taking place March 19 through 22 at which participants interact within the state capitol, experiencing government and realizing their duties as a citizen.
TeenPact is so much more than a government class, Thomas Pierce said.
"In addition to learning first hand how our state is governed, we play Frisbee, have evening sessions of worship and teaching and are encouraged to meet someone new every day,” said Pierce, a sophomore who is homeschooled and will return to TeenPact for a second time in March.
Paticipation in a government club or convention offers students many benefits, including learning about their responsibilities within thier government in a fun and interactive way.
For more information on the programs, go to www.teenpact.com or www.kyymca.org/KUNA.html.
Savanna Bolin is a senior at Central Hardin High School. Alexis Piscatello, a senior who is homeschooled, contributed to this story.