March 22, 2013

Institute’s ‘Youth Government Day’ is April 13

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Slots are still available for high school students to learn more about politics and public service at the 13th annual Youth Government Day, sponsored by Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

The event is from 8 a.m. to 2:15 p.m., Saturday, April 13, at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield.

The day includes presentations from including state Rep. Art Turner Jr., D-Chicago, one of the youngest members in the state legislature when he was elected to the General Assembly in 2010; state Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale, and Vicki Crawford, communications director, and Sara Wojcicki Jimenez, press spokesperson, both on the staff of House Minority Leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego.  There will also be breakout sessions, a tour of the state vault in the state capitol basement, and the opportunity to tour the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library after the event ends at about 2:15 p.m.

The event is free, and includes a continental breakfast and lunch.  Participants must provide their own transportation to and from Springfield.  Space is limited and organizers ask that adult chaperones attend with students.

The registration deadline is April 5.  To register, contact Carol Greenlee, Institute project coordinator, at 618/453-4078 or by email at  Additional information is also available at

The event allows high school students to become aware of how they can have a positive impact on their community and on the political process, and also inspire them to explore careers in government, public policy, politics and related fields. The late Institute founder and U.S. Sen. Paul Simon started Youth Government Day to motivate Illinois high school students to enter government service and politics.

“Youth Government Day was one of the first things Paul Simon did with this Institute and it has been a highlight ever since,” said David Yepsen, Institute director.  “His idea was simple -- invite Illinois high school students to spend the day interacting with professionals in the public policy arena who will motivate them to consider careers in politics and government and encourage them to be engaged citizens.”

For more information on this or other Institute programs, contact the Institute at 618/453-4009, or visit