Youth and Government to Compete at State

Destinee Turner, Staff Writer

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The Youth and Government Club will compete in Austin, at the state meet from Jan. 30 to Feb.2, after advancing at the district competition on Nov.16 at Chisholm Trail High School in Fort Worth.

“Competing is like presenting a real case,” teacher Karen Judd said. “It’s all fun because it’s a practice case but it gives everybody an example of how to get involved and feel what it’s like to be an attorney.”

The club, which was started five years ago, consists of two branches: legislative and judicial, the latter of which was added this year and is led by Judd.

“I’m an attorney and I really want people to have the opportunity to get involved with things like that while they’re a student,” she said. “This gives them the opportunity to decide whether or not they like being involved with law because they’re experiencing it.”

In the legislative branch, students create bills that they have to present and defend while in the executive branch, students must prepare a case for the defense and prosecution. To prepare, the team prepped witnesses and came up with strategies.

“It gives me the opportunity to learn about law and government and do stuff like mock trials and experience firsthand what the courtroom setting is like and learn more about the judicial process,” senior Khang Tran Nguyen said.

To prepare, the team prepped witnesses and came up with strategies.

“District was actually kind of scary,” sophomore Niladri Nath said. “Everyone there was so much more experienced than us, but we put in our best effort and ultimately made it out alive.”

The team advanced based off a confidential YMCA ranking system.

“The thing I’m most excited about is winning state and the fact that we made it this far despite how fresh and new we are and how unprepared we were,” junior Esther Odidi said. “We have a good chance of winning and that’s the important part.”

The state competition will be at the capitol building.

“I hope we do well at state,” Nath said. “I always say that the experience is more important than the result, but honestly I don’t really care. I’m trying to beat the competition.”

Odidi said the club has helped her gain the experience she needs to become a lawyer.

She said, “If you’re really passionate about becoming a lawyer or getting into law start your experience now when it matters rather than later when it doesn’t.”