Middle School Girls Get Hands-On Experience in Politics Through Youth in Government

Middle school girls got a taste of what it’s like to be state legislators by drafting and debating bills for the Youth in Government Conference.
Sixteen Hutchison middle school students rose to the challenge of running the State Capitol at the Youth in Government Conference in Memphis. Part of the Tennessee YMCA Youth in Government Program, these annual conferences are 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. While the one-day middle school conferences are simplified compared to the larger-scale high school versions, the students benefit from the same valuable educational opportunities when drafting and debating bills.

As state legislators at the conference, Hutchison participants wrote and presented several bills. Topics included fighting youth delinquency, improving foster care, and helping children’s mental health. A bill by Molly Piper Spear ’27, Ella Ann Russell ’27, and Abby Portnoy ’27 went on to the General Assembly, and it passed. They received an Outstanding Bill award, along with another eighth grade group, Dottie Higginbotham ’27 and Kaitlyn Johnson ’27, and a seventh grade group, Mia Chelsoi ’28, Menaal Haris ’28, and Eman Kadiro ’28. Madden Culpepper ’27 also received an Outstanding Statesperson award. 

The following students participated in the Youth in Government Conference:
  • Sienna Blaylock ’28
  • Mia Chelsoi ’28
  • Madden Culpepper ’27
  • Menaal Haris ’28
  • Dottie Higginbotham ’27
  • Kaitlyn Johnson ’27
  • Eman Kadiro ’28
  • Layla Lee ’27
  • Abby Livingston ’28
  • Eloise McDonald ’28
  • Kelly Patterson ’28
  • Katie Phan ’28
  • Abby Portnoy ’27
  • Ella Ann Russell ’27
  • Molly Piper Spear ’27
  • Rowan White ’28
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.

Read More