Early this week, Texas YG’s dedicated District Directors met at the State Office for two days of planning for the 2017-2018 Program.  We hope students are as excited as they are about what the year holds!  Our District Directors graciously shared some fun facts, what they love about YG, and why they believe in this awesome program.  Read on for a behind the scenes look at the women who make Texas YG possible!

Midland/Odessa District Director Jan Van Eman

YG is a program that makes students think outside the box.  It stretches their minds and continuously challenges them to go above and beyond what they ever thought they could.

I like to watch most sports–professional, high school, college basketball, football, baseball, NASCAR, and soccer.  My favorite teams are the Spurs, Rockets, Cowboys, Texans, and Texas A&M.

Austin/San Antonio/Corpus Christi/Williamson County District Director Missy Garcia

I believe in Youth and Government because this program is much more than a competition.  We strive to create an environment where students can really dive into the political arena. They can disagree with one another but also realize no one is just one issue…we are all complex and have different views on various topics. That helps create a strong understanding for our youth of what awaits them when they begin working and engaging in politics themselves.

I’m a NASCAR fan! I’m from West Texas and became a fan when I was younger.  Going out and seeing car races on dirt tracks was always fun. Now my goal is to attend a fan weekend and get to drive a car!

Houston/Port Arthur District Director Gloria Guzman

The thing I love the most about Youth and Government is that it gives students a platform for their voices to be heard.  I think that it really reinforces to students that they do have a voice, that it should be used, and that that sharing can be done positively.

I was a Youth and Government participant in my high school years, and it truly is great to see this come full circle for me. I have a middle schooler now who I hope will engage in Youth and Government as well and soon will know what it feels like to be a parent of a student in a Youth and Government program!

Fort Worth/Arlington District Director Lisa Gossard

I believe YG instills confidence and the ability to listen to opinions/beliefs different from one’s own.

I lived overseas from ages three to six.

Dallas/Palestine District Director Jenna Struble

I believe that Youth and Government is the best training ground for youth leadership. We empower teens with not only the tools but also the opportunities to lead.  It’s not only officers that learn to lead–we provide those opportunities to lead a club, lead a section in a club, train teachers and students, preside over a courtroom, lead a judicial team, serve the YMCA on a Teen Action Council or the community with a service project.  It’s also the only outlet for teens that treats them like adults, with respect to their opinions, their ideas, and their journey as people.

Interesting fact about me…I used to work as Head of Wardrobe for Cirque du Soleil Japan and European tours of Saltimbanco.

Thank you, District Directors, for all you do!