Five Caledonia Senior Secondary students are encouraging others to go to youth parliament after having their chance to sit in the legislature, experience politics first-hand, and return with a better knowledge of the system.
Thomas Christensen, Amee deViveiros, Ryan Kunar, Seth Scott and Theodoric Weicksel spent a week at the legislature that proved to be busy – they spent 14 hour days there – and helped several decide for sure that they want to go into politics.
Theo says he was thinking about political science at university and gas a carer and now he’s sure that’s what he wants to do.
“It solidified that for me,” he says,
The experience also let Seth know he was on the right track and he will focus on a career in politics too.
“It pretty much was what we’re learning in socials but it was first-hand experience,” says Seth.
You can read about what happens in government in a book but to be there, be part of voting and hear everyone banging on the desk when you make a good point brings it to life, says Amee. Sitting in socials class is just desks and chairs when being there is so different, says Ryan, the only one who isn’t interested in a career in politics but is glad he went for the knowledge of how the system works.
They all say the best part, besides being in the legislature, was meeting students from across the country and making lifelong friends. The students were able to sit in the legislature because the government was not in session.
During their time as MLAs, they passed bills that affect their lives, which was great, says Seth. He adds that they could discuss ideas and even if others disagreed, they would respect your opinion and listen without argument.
They have projects to do over the next year that will help other youths.
The students encourage others to apply.
Definitely if you’re into public speaking or service, even if you’re not sure that’s what you want to do, says Amee.