By: Noor Mohamed

Hundreds of students from different regions annually attend the Texas Youth and Government Conference (TXYG) in hopes of meeting new people, being challenged and diving deep in self-development.

Adaelaide Zink (Sophomore), Isabell Bannerot (Sophomore), Chris Fryamn (Freshman), and Matthew Lynn (Freshman) all in Appellate Court from Christain Life Preparatory shared their insight from the past couple of year they’ve been involved at TXYG.

There are a couple aspects to developing student leaders. First, they need to play with concrete ideas and topics to better develop the world around them. Second, they need to practice the skills necessary to conduct formal and scholarly dialogue with each other. Lastly, you set them loose and let them run the world.

However, every journey must start somewhere and for most it’s in their respective sections at TXYG.

For Fryamn, his growth starts out in the courtroom of his Appellate trial. “It helps you think on your feet. You get to think of what you want to say, consider what you’ve written and invest new things.”

“I think development in speech which is an important life skill to be able to convey yourself eloquently to others,” said Lynn when sharing how he’s seen his own transformation on the first day of his second conference.

Alongside coming from varying regions, the hundreds of students at the annual conference all come bearing extremely different personalities.

Zink said “When I started TXYG in 7th grade, I hated public speaking, but now I really enjoy it. This program has really taught me how to think logically and be comfortable in large groups.”

Bannerot shared she expresses herself better through works and commented how “YG for me, especially Appellate Court, has helped me with being able to write concisely and powerfully to express my ideas in a way that makes sense to myself and everyone else.”

Interestingly enough, not everyone walks away from the annual conference changed from proposal debates and ready to be politicians. For others, the real change happens when overcoming personal challenges.

“As an introvert YG has been really helpful in boosting my confidence. Debating in YG is a lot different than talking to regular people, but it has helped my speaking skills in my everyday conversations— something that most people overlook, “ said Bannerot.

Although the conference may be short, the days are definitely long, but the Christian Life Preparatory students shared their most memorable and pivotal moments through the program.

Reliving the thrill of it all, Fryamn said “When someone gets up there round one of Appellate Court, you’re like ‘Oh my God, I’m in it!’ You’re thrown head first in the questioning, but in the end it helps you be a better quick thinker and you don’t notice at first how many new skills you start to develop.”

A common theme amongst most sections is the sense of leadership through self-advocacy as student defend their own ideas as well as through the art of duality as they’re challenged to view all aspects from different perspectives.

At the end of the week, as these students pack their bags to go home they’re packing in the new sense of leadership they’ve unfolded over the past few days.

By immersing students in portraying real-life roles, giving them positions of power and fine-tuning their skills, once they leave the walls of the Texas Youth and Government conference the real world is now their playing ground to enact any change they seem fit.