Monthly Archives: May 2018

2018-2019 Officer Profiles: Meet Your SAF Chair!

At State Conferences last January and February, YMCA Texas Youth and Government students elected a new slate of officers to serve them during the 2018-2019 program year.  We’ll be featuring an interview with each officer on our blog in upcoming weeks.  Next up: SAF Chair Diomarvellous Nsofor!

What topics do you feel most passionate about when you consider developing the list of SAF topics for the year?

The most passionate topics are those that are not only prominent, but also topics that we, the delegates, are stakeholders in. Those kinds of topics truly have an impact on our lives and motivate delegates to put in their best effort when creating a proposal.

What would you like non-SAF delegates to know about SAF?

I would like for non-SAF delegates to think of State Affairs as the base of the “tower of diplomacy.” State Affairs prepares delegates with knowledge of parliamentary procedure (Legislative) and helps solidify their skills in effective researching and questioning, critical thinking and answers to questions, and public speaking (Judicial & Legislative).

Share a favorite YG memory.

My favorite YG memory was the 2017 SAF Pro/Con intent speeches (mainly Giadolor’s). Seeing the crowd roar following the personal speech of a fellow delegate proved to me, truly, how much you could move others with your words and experiences.

What are some of your favorite things about living in Houston?

Houston is extremely diverse! When I first moved here and only spoke Italian, I was surprised to notice that two of my neighbors spoke Italian as well. The majority of the communities here are very welcoming. I also enjoy how conveniently near my house Whataburger is.

What keeps you busy outside of YG?

Beyond Youth and Government, I do Congressional debate, am a journalist for my school’s Audio/Video team, and enjoy playing chess. I’m also Senior Council President for Sharpstown High School, so I handle all senior class affairs and plan important events such as prom and graduation.

2018-05-31T07:22:22-05:00May 29th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

2018-2019 Officer Profiles: Meet Your Lt. Governor!

At State Conferences last January and February, YMCA Texas Youth and Government students elected a new slate of officers to serve them during the 2018-2019 program year.  We’ll be featuring an interview with each officer on our blog in upcoming weeks.  Thanks to our Youth Lt. Governor, Chris Tian, for sharing these remarks!

What are some of your primary goals (personal and related to the program as a whole) for your time as Lt. Governor?

My primary goal for the program as a whole is to create a more widespread and interconnected YG program throughout Texas. My vision coincides with Aayush’s to incorporate more schools and delegations into this organization. I feel that YG has been categorized as a political activist debate club only, but that’s not the case. It’s much more than that, and the amount of change that the three days at State made me go through only goes to prove that. As for my personal goals, I want to recreate the fun and exciting experiences that I’ve been through for everyone else in this program, and as the Lt. Governor, I’ll also work hard practicing and getting the procedures right in order to carry out my duties in the Senate.

Share a favorite YG memory.

My favorite YG memory would have to be the moments I spent personally campaigning and approaching others to talk about their own experiences in the program. I’m really not a really extroverted person, so it truly was exciting to push myself out there, and I can see that my efforts were pretty successful.

What are some of your summer plans?

Definitely to work, but before that, I’ll need to finish up driving lessons and finish preparing for the SAT. I’m also looking to start a few personal projects of my own, but that’s a secret. . .

How long have you been playing your ukulele?  Favorite songs?

I got it near New Years, I picked it up and started playing with it a bit. I’d been playing for around a month before State. My favorite songs would be Hey There Delilah and Shape of You. Actually, during the end of the second night and the third day of State, my thumb started bleeding since I wasn’t used to strumming so much!

2018-05-31T07:22:22-05:00May 17th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

2018-2019 Officer Profiles: Meet Your Governor!

At State Conferences last January and February, YMCA Texas Youth and Government students elected a new slate of officers to serve them during the 2018-2019 program year.  We’ll be featuring an interview with each officer on our blog in upcoming weeks.  First up: Youth Governor Aayush Dave!

What are some key issues you would like to highlight during your term as Governor?

Concerning the Youth and Government program, there are a number of additions and reforms I would like to implement in collaboration with the State Office and my District Director during my term. Based on the sentiment expressed by delegates from this year’s State Conference, I, along with the other state officers, would like to collaborate with our advisors and the State Director to optimize aspects of the legislative and judicial section areas, capitalizing on the tremendous growth in participation Texas YG has experienced in recent years. Furthermore, as a Governor who campaigned on a Grassroots platform, I would like to create district leadership opportunities to cultivate local interest in the Youth and Government program.

With the help of the 72nd Youth Legislature, I would like to enact a concrete agenda focused on a few key issues. First, I will sign bills that increase public school funding for purchasing new educational materials, hiring skilled teachers to teach advanced classes, and incentivizing graduation to decrease Texas’ abysmal high school drop-out rate. Increased funding would specifically allow low-income areas to invest in improved education, helping their students to be competitive in the workplace or the college application process. I would also like to sign a bill increasing the state tax on the operation of coal power plants to discourage their continued usage.  Coal plants are responsible for the most pollution in Texas and pollution of the Guadalupe and Big Bend National Parks. Finally, I would like to sign a bill dedicating funds to start a statewide campaign against human trafficking, promoting awareness among youth, and to increase the reach of the state Human Trafficking Task Force to decrease human trafficking cases in future years.

What most excites you about the platform you ran on at the State Conference?

I am excited by the fact that the delegates chose a candidate that ran on a Grassroots agenda designed to improve the program at the district level…I don’t believe that my fellow delegates elected me because of my experience in Youth and Government. Nor do I believe they elected me because of the awards I have won through the program (2 years in the program and no awards won). I was elected because of the comprehensive platform I proposed to improve the YG program: create a district leadership opportunity, invite college representatives to the State Conference, and improve the speed and functionality of the judicial and legislative sections. My hope is that I can inspire others to run for state office who aren’t necessarily the most decorated Youth and Government participants but who can demonstrate that they would have a positive impact on the program.

How long have you been with YG? What is your favorite moment in YG?

I have been a part of Youth and Government since the beginning of my tenth-grade year (2016-17 school year). That was the year I, along with four other friends, founded the YG program at my high school. Since then, we have grown and gained support as a program that promotes youth civic involvement in the community. My favorite memory is from the first fundraiser our club held to decrease the cost of the State Conference for our members. To provide background, three students dropped out of the club in its first year before the State Conference because of cost. Therefore, we resolved to solve that problem this year, partnering with our local Pearland Chamber of Commerce to hold a community fundraiser attended by community leaders, business professionals, and school officials. Through this effort, we raised $4,200 in donations and were able to send 22 delegates to the State Conference. We thank the Pearland Chamber of Commerce for their generosity in helping us achieve our goal and for hosting an incredible event for our members! Our Congressional Representative Pete Olson and State Representative Ed Thompson also attended the event—Mr. Thompson has been great help in promoting our organization throughout the community and we sincerely thank him for his help as well! I had the privilege of giving a speech at this event, and it was a truly surreal moment due to the people in attendance as well as the importance of the event in our club history. In that moment, I could not contain my pride in our YG club and all that we had accomplished up to that point.

Advice for other delegates?

Find your passion. Have a vision. It is important to identify what makes you get up in the morning and get to work. Without that spark, it is impossible to reach the pinnacle of whatever activity/sport/competition/career you invest your time in. It does not have to be Youth and Government, politics, or even government-related. You simply need to find that one thing that you love to do and want to be the best at. Building the Dawson HS Youth and Government club was my passion, and it has led me to the office of Youth Governor. But along with that passion, I had a vision to grow the club in size and skill. My vision to grow the Dawson HS YG club was simple, but through that simple plan, many other opportunities have presented themselves, such as speaking, fundraising, and leadership opportunities. As a result, I firmly believe that if you work hard at your vision, your vision will eventually work for you.

What keeps you busy outside of YG?

I am a member of the DECA business competition club, Future Problem Solvers competition club, Interact volunteer organization, UIL Academics, National Spanish Honor Society, and I am the incoming President of the National Honor Society. I have also been a member of the varsity tennis team for the past two years and a member of the Congressional Youth Advisory Council.

2018-05-31T07:22:22-05:00May 14th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments