Fowler takes students on a new political experience

Youth Advisory Council allows students to speak with Senate staff and learn more about the political world


Courtesy of Rennee Fowler

Huntley High School students photographed with Senator DeWitte at Judson University.

By Sandra Skiba

Rennee Fowler invites her AP Government and Politics classes on a trip to Judson University in Elgin for the Youth Advisory Council. Youth Advisory Council allows students to meet and speak with Senator DeWitte as well as other Senate Staff. YAC allows for students interested in public service careers to touch the waters a little. They meet once in the fall at Judson University and again in the Spring at Springfield.
“YAC discussed a public policy issue in the fall session and then will debate it at the spring session at the state Capitol,” Fowler said. “In the spring, the students will travel to Springfield for the day and be able to experience the legislative process and participate in a mock committee and legislative process.”
According to Fowler, Huntley’s students have been going to the YAC since 2017 and about 10-15 students end up going every year. The Council gives students the opportunity to experience what it would be like to discuss policies in hopes of promoting involvement to youth in politics.
A few changes could possibly be made in the future that could involve the students more but even with the work that the YAC does now, it is so beneficial and worth it for students to go and give it a try if this is something they would be interested in.
“I did hope that students had the opportunity to choose the public policy that was discussed for the simulation,” Fowler said. “I wish it was more student directed, but overall with the time available I think they do a great job.”
Several students enjoyed the council and felt good about their experience. The speakers who attended gave them a lot to think about and much to talk about with students from other schools.
“My experience was definitely positive, I loved listening to all the speakers and meeting students from other schools who had similar interests and I really enjoyed the simulation,” sophomore Aubrey Balovich said.
While some students liked the simulation and the trip itself, others did it to learn what would be beneficial in the future.
“It looks really good for colleges,” sophomore Gavin Prus said.
YAC is a great way for students interested in public service careers to get a little bit more engaged and learn from those who have some experience already. Look out for the second trip in Springfield, it will come sooner than expected.