Career Academy students participate in Youth Legislature _lowres

Photo provided by Southern University Ag Center -- Students from the St. Helena College and Career Academy participated in the 2015 Youth Legislature held at the Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge. Participating in the Legislature, in front row from left, were So;uthern University Ag Center Assistant Area Agent Nicolette Gordon, Kevelyn Brown, Chemeya Price, A'Laysia Lee and Youth Coordinator Toni Melton and second row, Kody Murray, Brant Muse and J'Quailyn Floyd.

Seven students in the Interactive Leaders Engaging and Advancing Democracy Club at the St. Helena College and Career Academy participated in the Youth Legislature Session hosted by the Boys and Girls Club April 22-23 at the Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge.

It was the first time students from St. Helena Parish were chosen to participate in the session, school officials said.

Youth Legislature, which has been in existence for more than 35 years, is a program that introduces middle school students to the legislative process through classroom instruction and participation in a two-day mock legislative session.

Students elect a governor and house and senate officers. They draft, sponsor, debate, and pass and fail bills, as well as lead and serve on legislative committees and speak publicly.

The iLEAD club is an in-school club developed by Nicolette Gordon, assistant area agent at the Southern University Agricultural Center.

The club is dedicated to training student government officers and members in St. Helena and Tangipahoa parishes schools.

“This experience allowed the iLEAD members to enhance their knowledge of not just passing a bill but the entire political process,” Gordon said. “Club members were also able to share resources and exchange ideas with students from other schools around Louisiana. Much of what they learned can be applied as life-management skills as well as improving their quality of school life.”

Students participating and their elected positions were Kevelyn Brown, youth senator; Kody Murray, youth representative; Brant Muse, youth representative; J’Quailyn Floyd, youth representative; Chemeya Price, youth representative and A’Laysia Lee, youth representative. The students were accompanied by Gordon and Youth Coordinator Toni Melton.