Approximately 50 high school students from across the 26th Senate District got a unique, hands-on learning experience about public policy, state government, and leadership during their experience at State Senator Dan McConchie’s (R-Hawthorn Woods) 4th Annual Youth Advisory Council.
“I host this event every year, and every year I am just as impressed as the last at the quality of students our high schools are fostering,” said Sen. McConchie. “This program not only helps to bridge the gap between young students and their legislators, but also exposes them to the legislative process in hopes that some may develop an interest in public service.”
McConchie hosted the all-day event at Barrington’s White House. Participating students were selected by teachers and principals from Trinity Oaks Christian School, Lake Zurich High School, Adlai Stevenson High School, Dundee-Crown High School, Barrington High School, and Mundelein High School.
Students started off the day hearing from not only Sen. McConchie, but a variety of other speakers including Michael Combs, McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney; Mark Maxwell, WCIA TV reporter; and Bonnie Conte, local business owner and business coach.
Students then broke off into groups, where they were asked to work together to develop ideas for possible new state legislation. During these discussions, McConchie spent time with each small group, asking students questions about their proposed policy change and how they would advocate for their issue. At the end of the day, each group presented their proposal and took questions from the rest of the group.
“By participating in this program, I hope to gain a better understanding of how government works,” said Spencer Steeves, junior at Lake Zurich High School. “I really enjoyed listening to all the speakers, especially the McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney.”
“We really appreciate Sen. McConchie for hosting this event every year,” said Cary Waxler, Barrington High School AP Government teacher. “It’s such a great opportunity for our students to come and learn first-hand about state government.
Sen. McConchie’s Youth Advisory Council is a two-part experience. Students will meet with Sen. McConchie again in the spring where they will participate in a mock committee hearing at the Lake County Courthouse.