April 07, 2017

Media Advisory – Youth Government Day

Several leading young legislators and officials will share their perspectives about politics and public service on Saturday, April 8, at the 17th annual Youth Government Day at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield. Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute sponsors the event. About 150 high school students from across the state are expected to attend. 

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover any and all of the events. For more information, contact Linda Baker, institute and university professor, at 217/553-6660 or lrbaker@siu.edu

“Youth Government Day has been one the Institute’s signature programs from the very beginning and it remains an important part of our mission today,” Interim Director Jak Tichenor said. “Paul was passionate about encouraging young people to pursue careers in government, public policy, and politics.  He thought inviting Illinois high school students to spend an entire day interacting with public policy professionals would inspire them to consider working in the public arena and become engaged citizens.” 

Jeramey D. Anderson, Mississippi’s 110th District state representative, will present the opening keynote address “Leadership: Youth Changing the World Today.” In 2013, Anderson, then 21, and a senior at Tulane University’s Gulf Coast campus, won a runoff election for a two-year term. He was re-elected in 2015. 

Other speakers in breakout sessions include state Rep. Avery Bourne, R-Raymond, and Ashley Jenkins, the deputy chief legal counsel for Senate President John J. Cullerton, D-Chicago. A panel discussion on “Governmental and External Affairs in Action” will include Paris Ervin, director of communications for state Treasurer Michael Frerichs; Chad Hoosier, a legislative affairs consultant with The Roosevelt Group; and Morgan Kreitner, a Senate liaison for Gov. Bruce Rauner. 

Sonia Mathew, the civic learning manager with the McCormick Foundation, will present the afternoon keynote, “Make Some Noise! Civic Engagement and Democracy Activity.” 

“We are excited about bringing young people to Springfield to showcase how to get involved in the legislative process and show them the importance of public policy,” Baker said. “We have assembled an impressive group of young elected officials and public servants who will speak to the students about leadership, civic engagement and how to get involved in our democracy.”    

The schedule is:

  • 9 a.m. -- Welcoming remarks, Jak Tichenor, interim director, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. Illinois House floor.
  • 9:10 a.m. – Keynote speaker, 110th District Mississippi state. Rep. Jeramey D. Anderson, Illinois House floor. “Leadership: Youth Changing the World Today.”
  • 10:20 a.m. -- Breakout sessions where students rotate through presentations in the Illinois House and Illinois Senate chambers, and Senate Hearing Room 212. The sessions are state Rep. Avery Bourne, R-Litchfield, “My Journey: Never Sit on the Sidelines, Step Up to Get Involved” on the House floor; Ashley Jenkins, deputy chief legal counsel for Senate President John J. Cullerton, D-Chicago, “Simulation of the Legislative Process”; and a “Governmental and External Affairs in Action” panel discussion.
  • Noon – Lunch. Howlett Hall of Flags
  • 1 p.m. -- Keynote speaker, Sonia Mathew, civic learning manager, McCormick Foundation, Howlett Auditorium.
  • 2:15 p.m. -- Closing remarks, Linda Baker, institute and university professor, Howlett Auditorium.

Students attending will then have the option to take a free tour of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.