Two Seneca students become Youth and Government presiding officers

Seneca Valley students Jake Geil and Rishin Sharma were elected to the positions of Blue Speaker of the House and Youth Governor, respectively.  

The Butler County YMCA is the home to a branch of the Youth and Government(YAG) club. Their delegation, called Rose E. Schneider, brought over 50 students to this year’s Model convention.  

Every year, members of the Rose E. Schneider delegation head to Harrisburg. For one weekend, their delegation and dozens of others across the state set up their own government in the capital.   

The program sets up a Gold House and Senate for freshman and sophomores, and a Blue House and Senate for Juniors and Seniors. Each branch has committees that students’ bills must pass through to reach the floor of the full House or Senate. To pass and be signed by the Youth Governor, bills must pass both branches after vigorous debate.  

For those who do not want to be legislators, the program has many other options. There are administration officials who work with the Youth Governor, Lobbyists who can speak on bills in committee, reporters and photographers that work with the press branch to create a newspaper, and attorneys who argue a case before justices, also students. The club allows students to experience virtually every aspect of governing. The exposure gets kids involved in democracy at an early age.  

The Rose E. delegation had three candidates on the ballot for Presiding Officer positions. Rishin Sharma, the current Blue Speaker of the House, sought the position of Youth Governor. Jake Geil, the current Gold Speaker of the House, ran for Blue Speaker. Sam Condrick, the Minority Party Leader in the Blue Senate, ran for Blue Lieutenant Governor. Rishin and Jake were elected to their positions. Next year, the position of Gold Lieutenant Governor will be elected by the Western half of the state, giving Rose E. a chance to have a third Presiding Officer. 

Leaders of the Rose E. delegation congratulated all their delegates this year on an amazing Model.