Hutchison Juniors Get Hands-On Experience in Politics Through Youth in Government

Note to the State of Tennessee: If you want to get legislation passed, put Hutchison girls in charge! Seventeen juniors wrote and presented six bills at the YMCA Youth in Government conference in Nashville. All of the bills made it onto the Senate and House dockets, and one was signed into law.
Seventeen Hutchison juniors rose to the challenge of running the State Capitol at the Youth in Government Tristar Conference in Nashville. Part of the Tennessee YMCA Youth in Government Program, the annual Tristar Conference is designed to offer high school and middle school students a hands-on experience with state government. Students roleplay and take the places of real government officials.

As state senators and House representatives at the conference, Hutchison participants wrote and presented six bills, all of which made it through committee and onto the Senate and House dockets. Topics included mandating zoo accreditations, preventing addiction in schools, ending child abuse, raising salaries for social workers, fixing chronic absenteeism, and funding shelters for the unhoused population. A bill written by Izzy Ellis ’24, Caroline Kim ’24, and Sakshi Singh ’24 was signed into law after passing in both the Senate and the House. The legislation made Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) accreditation required for Tennessee zoos. Hutchison students also argued cases in the Supreme Court and served on the Governor’s Cabinet.

In addition to these successes, Kate Anderson ’24, Adela Calzada ’24, Blair Mellone ’24, and Shifa Qureshi ’24 received Outstanding Statesperson awards. Kate was invited to attend the YMCA Conference on National Affairs in July. Izzy Ellis ’24, Caroline Kim ’24, and Sakshi Singh ’24 received an Outstanding Bill award for their bill mandating AZA accreditation in Tennessee zoos. Hutchison girls were also selected to leadership positions for next year’s conference: Ayrah Kashmiri ’24 will serve as an associate justice in the Supreme Court, and Sakshi and Caroline will serve as court clerks. Congratulations!

The following students participated in the Youth in Government Tristar Conference:
  • Kate Anderson ’24
  • Sophie Boeving ’24
  • Adela Calzada ’24
  • Zelia Cedeño-Avila ’24
  • Lauren Coleman ’24
  • Izzy Ellis ’24
  • Noorain Gill ’24
  • Hira Janjua ’24
  • Ayrah Kashmiri ’24
  • Caroline Kim ’24
  • Maddie Lee ’24
  • Olivia Lester ’24
  • Blair Mellone ’24
  • Shifa Qureshi ’24
  • Sakshi Singh ’24
  • Alex Wallace ’24
  • Melanie Woodbury ’24
We are proud of our girls' hard work and civic engagement during this wonderful learning opportunity. Through programs like Youth in Government, Hutchison educates young women for success and lives of integrity and responsible citizenship.

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