On November 30, State Senator Sue Rezin (R-Morris) brought together dozens of high school students from across the 38th Senate District to participate in her annual Youth Advisory Council, a unique opportunity for area students to learn about state government and public policy.
“This is the fourth year that I have hosted a Youth Advisory Council for area high school students. With the ongoing pandemic, we had to do it a little differently this year,” said Sen. Rezin. “This yearly event is one of my favorite experiences, so I am very pleased that we were able to come up with a way to provide this opportunity to our students.”
This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions and to ensure the safety of area students, Sen. Rezin hosted her annual Youth Advisory Council virtually. Students from Gardner-South Wilmington High School, Putnam County High School, Wilmington High School, Newark High School, Coal City High School, Streator High School, Plano High School, LaSalle-Peru Township High School, Saint Bede Academy, Ottawa Township High School and Morris Community High School participated. Students were chosen based on recommendations made by area administrators and local educators.
When Alex Duffy of Morris Community High School was asked why he thought it was important for high school students to learn about and get involved with government, he said “it’s important for our youth to get involved because now more than ever do we need young blood within our political process to keep it alive.”
As part of the event, Sen. Rezin invited guest speakers to talk with the students, including Cody Grandadam, Owner and President of Promier Products and Amanda Vinicky, Correspondent and Segment Host with WTTW. Sen. Rezin also spoke about her experience as a state legislator.
“My favorite speaker was Amanda Vinicky,” said Drew Kalsto from LaSalle-Peru Township High School. “I loved her honesty and integrity for giving the public the real information and addressing the concerns that we have had with the media in the past four years. It was very interesting to hear her perspective.”
In the past, the fall discussion would be the basis for the spring meeting where Sen. Rezin would bring the students to the Statehouse in Springfield. At the Statehouse, the students would continue their discussion about the legislative process, tour the Capitol and give the students the opportunity to witness state government in action.