HYLA High School class visits local government and learns lesson in congressional politics
March 29, 2018
The Hancock Youth Leadership Academy (HYLA) High School Program Class of 2018 spent their most recent session, sponsored by Tellus Self Storage, learning about local governments in the area. They visited with elected officials of Hancock County and two of its three municipalities and learned important lessons regarding congressional politics.
The 2018 HYLA High School Class is comprised of 29 eleventh graders from Hancock County who represent all four area high schools. On Wednesday, March 21st, the high school leaders embarked on their third session by meeting City and County officials in the new Annex Building. The students interacted here with Chancery Clerk Tim Kellar, Tax Assessor Jimmie Ladner, Circuit Clerk Karen Ruhr, Councilman Josh DeSalvo (Bay St. Louis), Mayor Mike Smith (Waveland), and Hancock County Board President Blaine Lafontaine. These young leaders learned about the intricacies of local government directly from city and county leaders. Blaine Lafontaine commented, “I want to thank the Hancock Resource Center for allowing us the opportunity to speak to our leaders of tomorrow. This was an opportunity to invest in our future. Events like this will help these young men and women understand certain things, so that they can meet the challenges of the future.”
Next on the agenda was a visit with Veteran Charles Nelson, Past Commander American Legion Post 77, who gave a moving presentation about his years of military service to our country during World War 2. He impressed upon the young leaders the importance of continuing their education and working hard at whatever they do in life. He hopes the next generation values the sacrifices made to make America “the greatest country in the world.”
HYLA students were then immersed in an active learning activity of the bill-to-law process in the U.S. Congress. By playing the game Bananas Congress, students gained a solid understanding the challenges members of Congress have when they must pass legislation.
After visiting the Mississippi State Capitol in February, HYLA students further enhanced their knowledge this session of how government works on the local, state, and national levels and increased their understanding of how the political process affects decision making in the various contexts.
The Hancock Youth Leadership Academy is the first and only county-wide youth leadership program in Hancock County, and is a program of The Hancock Resource Center. Moving forward, local community sponsorships are needed. Please consider sponsoring a session or making a general donation to support the ongoing operation of the Hancock Youth Leadership Academy. Invest in Hancock County’s future by cultivating its next generation of leaders: visit www.hancockhrc.org or call 228-463-8887 to learn how.
Picture 1 – Front Row (left to right): Kennady Hertz (OLA), Hannah Pitalo (OLA), Katie Ingram (OLA), Brianna Mitchell (Bay High), Wallis Mortillaro (OLA), Isabelle Gelpi (OLA), Harleigh LaFontaine (Hancock), Ahmia Khadaroo (Bay), Kearsten Shaw (Hancock), and Alex Koons (Saint Stanislaus).
Middle Row: Marguerite Gelpi (OLA), Liam McKeon (Bay High), Trace Rhodes (Saint Stanislaus), Taylor Slade (OLA), Margaret Spencer White (OLA), American Legion Post 77 Past Commander Charles Nelson, Ronnie Aleman (Saint Stanislaus), Savannah LaFontaine (Hancock), Kelanie Tennyson (Hancock), Brenna Labyak (Bay High), and Maleah Austin (Hancock).
Back row: Zach Loftin (Bay High), Shelbe McColley (Bay High), Charlie Luttrell (Bay High), Nate McCormick (Saint Stanislaus), Alexander Fuller (Saint Stanislaus), Charlie Whaley (Saint Stanislaus), Collin Ladner (Hancock), Blake Comeaux (Hancock), and Luke Davis (Hancock).
Picture 2 – HYLA students debate on the “senate floor” in the game of Bananas Congress.
For additional information, contact Rhonda Rhodes at 228-463-8887 or firstname.lastname@example.org.