Nineteen high school students from across State Senator Dan McConchie’s 26th Senate District traveled to the Lake County Courthouse on Wednesday, April 24 to participate in Part II of his Youth Advisory Council (YAC).
Sen. McConchie’s bi-annual YAC gives students a unique, up-close and hands-on perspective of what it would be like to work in various roles of government.
“I look forward to this event every year and I’m always amazed by the quality of students being fostered at our high schools,” said Sen. McConchie. “Their level of enthusiasm and engagement in the legislative process is exciting to see. As legislators, it’s important that we engage with and mentor these young people because they are the leaders of our future.”
Sen. McConchie hosted the all-day event in one of the courtrooms of the newly constructed courthouse, where he talked with high school students from Adlai Stevenson, Barrington, Lake Zurich, and Mundelein High Schools about Illinois government and how the Legislature operates.
The students also heard from a variety of speakers including Sheriff John Idleburg, Lake County, Mike Nerheim, Lake County State’s Attorney, Christen L. Bishop, Circuit Judge, and Daniel B. Shanes, Presiding Judge. Students even got the opportunity to interact with Boomer, the Lake County Sheriff’s Explosives Detection Canine, and Mitchell, Lake County’s court therapy dog.
The students later debated legislation as they participated in a mock committee hearing, where they were broken up into groups representing the key players in the realm of public policy including senators, lobbyists, and concerned citizens.
“Year after year I continue to be impressed with the knowledge these students already have about state government,” said Sen. McConchie. “It is my hope that this event ignites them into becoming leaders, not just in their schools, but also in their communities as they become adults.”