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KYA Teaches Students About the Legislative Process

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Seniors Erin Oliver and Katherine Childers stand in front of the capitol building in Frankfort.  They visited Frankfort as part of the KYA.

Seniors Erin Oliver and Katherine Childers stand in front of the capitol building in Frankfort. They visited Frankfort as part of the KYA.

Seniors Erin Oliver and Katherine Childers stand in front of the capitol building in Frankfort. They visited Frankfort as part of the KYA.

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“KYA is a place where students all over Kentucky can come together, share their ideas, and debate bills on how to make our state a better place”, Katherine Childers, Y-Club president.

On Monday, October 22, LCA’s student led Y-club called for all members and students participating in KYA to meet and hear bill groups rehearse their bills in the same manner done at the conference. LCA will be taking four bill groups this year comprised of both upper and lower classmen participants. The bills this year include solutions to the high overdose rate in Kentucky, a call for government support in removing radon from the homes of those without the finances to, a proposal for a mandatory paper on current events in the English curriculum, and a call for a driver’s education curriculum in all Kentucky schools. Fellow students questioned and critiqued each bill in preparation for the upcoming conference.

KYA stands for the Kentucky Youth Association and is part of the YMCA. It is a three day learning program in which students serve a part in mock state government. At this program, high school students learn about various issues and are invited to use their voice. Students are welcome to come with a bill group or as a delegate.

Bill groups brainstorm issues in Kentucky that are unique to other issues. They then recognize this issue and propose a solution that is sensitive to costs, time, and efficiency. At KYA, bill groups present in front of delegates, and delegates vote whether or not bills are to pass. If a bill passes on the first day, that bill group is given the opportunity to present at the Capitol in Frankfort, where all delegates and committee members of KYA visit on the second day. There, those groups present again where they await whether or not their bill continues on.

First time bill writer and KYA attendee Gracie Elliot shared some thoughts regarding writing a bill. “In order to write a bill, you have to first think of a relevant idea that could truly make a difference in your community. The next step, and the most critical one, is turning a relevant idea into an effective and practical solution. Writing my bill with Julia (Lawson) has been so much fun but also more challenging than I could have imagined!”

Delegates are students who do not wish to participate in a bill group. These students are invited to question and debate the proposed bills in their assigned group. This is an especially helpful role for students who do not know a lot about KYA, or do not want to present in front of a large crowd, because they are able to participate as much or as little as they wish.

Reagan Newman, a senior, participated in KYA for the first time last year as a delegate. “Although you are not obligated to as much work or participation as bill authors, I felt I was as included and enjoyed being able to sit and hear kids my age talk about things they were passionate about.”

After night two, students are invited to the highly anticipated dance party. If kids do not want to go to that, there are game rooms, movie rooms, and karaoke.

The third day, lots of meetings are held in which all those participating in KYA are required to attend. Kids hear of other YMCA programs and events coming up and other ways to get involved. There is also a video at the end that captures the conference that everybody enjoys to watch.

Overall, KYA is a notable experience for everyone, not just those wishing to pursue politics. It aids students in becoming more developed speakers, raise awareness of issues in Kentucky, and use their voice.

 

About the Writer
Erin Oliver, Editor

Erin is senior who has attended LCA for 5 years.  She played varsity volleyball for one year, but now enjoys spending her free time with friends and family, as well as going to the gym. Since childhood, Erin has been interested in writing and she hopes to pursue a career in journalism.

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KYA Teaches Students About the Legislative Process