AURORA – Waubonsie Valley youth and government club had a mock legislative event at Metea Valley High School in February to help prepare for its trip to the Illinois state capitol in March.
Illinois state representative Janet Yang Rohr was present to help guide the young student legislators. Representative Yang Rohr has helped pass a bill that many students may recognize.
“One of the bills that I’m most proud of is called the Beyond Charity law,” said Yang Rohr, state representative of the 41st district, “and basically what it does is it requires public schools from about junior high all the way to public colleges and universities to print on the back of your student id the national and local suicide prevention hotline numbers. What we’re really trying to do is make sure that students have those tools and those resources right at their fingertips and hopefully take away stigma around asking for help, especially when it comes to to their mental health.”
Civic engagement is very important among the youth in today’s day and age. Waubonsie youth and government provides students with unique opportunities to get involved in real-world government experience, an idea Representative Yang Rohr fully supports.
“People say that youth are our future leaders,” said Yang Rohr, “but I think they are our leaders now, and so when we get students, when we get young people involved, I think you get people excited to be involved in the process. So I’m so proud to have an internship program that has brought high school students and college students together to work in our office and to fan out into the community and really make sure that we’re serving the community. We could not have the reach, and I think the effect that we do without them.
Waubonsie youth and government will go to Springfield March 18 through 20 for their mock state legislative assembly.