There is a held belief that Youth and Government is limited to those pursuing a career in politics. This weekend, over 500 students are showcasing their skills in the Texas State Conference. However, many delegates do not intend on pursuing a career in politics.
Delegates in Youth and Government claim they want to pursue a diverse range of careers beyond high school, such as hospitality, finance, and Animal Science. “I think the skills I have learned through Youth and Government will be helpful in pursuing my dream career of psychology and sociology.” Stated Joshua Lee

But the benefits of the program are not limited to the skills built while students are speaking. The preparation for competition also teaches critical thinking and research skills. “I have been in Legislative, Judicial, and State Affairs; all 3 of those sections within this program challenged me in different ways. Judicial namely had deep critical thinking skills, however, all sections do as well,” said Matthew Garcia from Duncanville High School. “To be successful in not only this program you’ll need critical thinking and research skills. I will be forever grateful for this program in not only teaching me those skills but making me find my passion with it.”

Delegates have also found that not only does debate teach useful academic skills, but also for life. “I think some life skills that this program teaches everyone is public speaking, which is something that will continue throughout high school, college, and into a professional career.” Stated State Affairs clerk Ainsley Burkes.

Other than teaching skills, Youth and Government allows you to take in other viewpoints according to delegates in State Affairs. There is a worry that when different people from various backgrounds meet, they won’t come to an understanding. “Through this program I’ve learned to be respectful of everyone’s viewpoints no matter how different they are,” said Jaalen Robinson from Duncanville High School. “I’ve done this by being open-minded and not just trying to argue with one another and actually listening to each point.”

These students acknowledge that committing to speech and debate offers a lifetime of benefits. Besides gaining knowledge in the governmental process, Youth and Government allows participants to develop oral and written communication skills, critical thinking skills and effective tools for research, organization and presentation. They agree that Youth and Government is beneficial for every future endeavor, not just political ones.

By: Jacqueline Chávez , Duncanville High School