Happy Constitution Day! Today, September 17, 2017, marks the 230th anniversary of the end of the Constitutional Convention and signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787. Thirty-nine delegates from twelve states signed this document that established the U.S. system of government as we know it. Signers included George Washington and James Madison of Virginia, Alexander Hamilton of New York, and Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania. By its creation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, the Constitution built the foundation that supports students in the Texas YG program. They study the government’s workings and serve as elected officials, judges, attorneys, lobbyists, and legislators. We now ask you to support our students through our Constitution Day Fundraiser. Please donate here to contribute to our valuable Texas YG program. Your gift will help our civics education and leadership training reach over 2,000 middle and high school students throughout Texas. Additionally, a portion of contributions will be set aside to support our 200+ students in the Houston area affected by Hurricane Harvey who may need financial assistance to attend the State Conferences in January and February. Thank you so much for your generosity! As a special treat, watch the video below to hear our Youth Governor Sharif Long’s thoughts on what the Constitution means to him.
Read below to learn more about Jordan Clements, your 2017-2018 Texas YG High School Lt. Governor!
What are some key issues you have tackled in your past bills and proposals?
Some key issues I have tackled in my previous bills and proposals include Welfare Reform, Participation Awards, Campaign Finance, Vigilantism, Hardening the Power Grid, and, most recently, Whistle Blowing.
Share a little bit about your experience attending CONA earlier this year.
Besides my proposal not getting past first committee, I had an amazing time at CONA. On top of doing well enough to get the Outstanding Statesman award, I had an amazing time reuniting with old friends and meeting new friends from Texas and throughout the rest of the nation. The only thing that bugged me about CONA was that the DJ kept remixing songs together at the dance (but that’s not really something of too much concern when you’re with your closest friends).
What other extracurricular activities do you enjoy? Fun facts you want to share?
Aside from YG and other Congressional Debate forums, I enjoy Extemporaneous Speaking, Stu Co, and Marching Band. I consider myself a mega-nerd in many respects such as history, economics, current events, politics, comic book movies, and Star Wars.
What are your educational and career plans moving forward?
Moving forward, I hope to get a doctorate in economics and become an economics professor/researcher in the likes of Milton Friedman or Thomas Sowell. Later in life, I also hope to go into government for real and, hopefully, become President if I am so lucky to have such an honor bestowed upon me!
We love to hear about our students’ ambitions and the ways Texas YG inspires their future plans! Thanks, Jordan!
As our program year begins, we want you to get to know your Texas YG High School officers! Check back each week for a profile of one of these esteemed delegates. First up: Youth Governor Sharif Long!
What are some key issues you hope to highlight during your term as Governor?
Running for governor, my platform focused on the values of transparency, equality, and legacy. Within the program, I hope to continue to work with the State Office so that these values are exhibited in all things we do. As a delegate within the program, I’ve always noticed the harmony amongst delegates, as they respect the viewpoints of others. I want to continue to promote statesmanship at all YG conferences so that delegates understand to debate ideas, not the person.
Politics within our country have become polarized through recent events, and I hope that in our Youth Legislature, we can prove that our generation are not the leaders of tomorrow but of today, tackling and working together to resolve controversial issues such as immigration, criminal justice reform, education, health, and the environment. Often I feel as though we as passionate teenagers should actively reach out to our elected officials and initiate change within our communities and state.
Share a little bit about your experience attending the Governors’ Conference earlier this year.
The Youth Governors’ Conference is unlike any other conference I’ve experienced. Truly, this experience has helped me to have a better understanding of my role as the Texas Youth Governor and how best to execute my ideas for the growth and development of the program for the well-being of all its volunteers and participants. The most interesting part about Gov Con is its secretive elements, so I’m afraid I can’t give it all away! I can tell you that I met 44 of the brightest young minds in America who challenged me to be the best version of myself for the improvement of our Texas YG program and society. It was amazing to gain insight about how different all of our programs are and become empowered by our many differences.
What traits do you admire in other leaders?
I think John C. Maxwell describes a leader best: “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” At Gov Con, I had the opportunity to room with Daven Turner, Youth Governor of Missouri. His warm hugs and genuine interest in getting to know his peers were things that all of the fellow members of my Gov Class admired most about him. Although he may be gone, his legacy lives on! Many leaders can have competence, but without a genuine interest in the people they serve, it’s difficult for leaders to understand where to take them and how to lead in a way to show followers the end result. This is the trait that Daven showcased best. Empowerment speaks volumes about a leader’s humility and helps others add value to the people they encounter, launching a “ripple effect.”
What are your educational and career plans moving forward?
I plan to apply to…the University of Texas at Austin for sure! Although government and politics have become a passion of mine, I’ve always wanted to have a career where I can serve people in some type of capacity. Combined with my interest in science, I’d like to major in Biology. Since I’m interested in going to medical school, I can major in anything as long as I take my prerequisite courses so music, history, and ethics have also been possible options. I’ve
[considered] a job as an orthopedist, gerontologist, or possibly a general physician.
What do you like to do for fun when you’re taking a break from your Texas YG duties?
In my spare time (which I rarely have), I enjoy playing my tuba, listening to music, or getting together with friends for a game night. I’m not the best at card games, but my friends and I always have a great time battling it out. I’ve recently developed the hobby of letter writing. With so many YG friends around the country, I love to write them letters when I get the chance!
Thank you, Sharif!
Registration for Texas YG 2017-2018 is officially live! Students who have previously participated in Texas YG should have received an email from the Texas YG State Office containing their unique registration links. Please check all your email folders (or your parent/guardian’s if you registered using their email address last year) to make sure this email doesn’t get lost! If you’re a returning student and can’t find your email after checking all folders, contact the State Office and we’ll be happy to help. Please reach out–it’s very important you use your unique link!
Friendly reminder: please use your school’s full name rather than an abbreviation. The majority of schools are listed on the registration form and affiliated with a specific YMCA branch. You should only type in your school’s name if you can’t find it under any of the YMCA branches in your district.
New students can register here. Advisors, look out for an email from the State Office with information about your own and students’ registration links within the next few days. All participants can refer to the registration instructions on our Resource Portal for further information. We’re excited to get you registered and kick off the year!
We’re also excited that our Resource Portal has gotten a makeover! The Legislative, SAF, and Candidates sections are up-to-date with 2017-2018 program materials. Read through the updates and reminders pages to learn about changes and get prepped for the upcoming year! Media content will be updated by the end of the week, and the State Office is working on preparing Judicial materials as quickly as possible. Keep checking back for updated content, and we appreciate your patience and participation!