Shantell Williams, 2014 March Youth Governor
For hours on end I, along with thousands of others students, sit in classrooms under the guise of learning. Politics, history, debate, civics, marketing, and speech are all classes students take in hopes of bettering themselves. Seemingly these subjects have little in common with Michigan Youth in Government, but in actuality MYIG teaches these very subjects and more. The concepts, techniques, and skills acquired at MYIG are far more effective than any lecture. In school students get to read about leaders who made change, at MYIG we become the very leaders who make change – that is the true beauty of the program. We are given the ability to use our knowledge and skills to make a difference.
Michigan Youth in Government offers experiences that can never be gained inside the classroom. Delegates share ideas and beliefs from geographically, racially, and socioeconomically diverse backgrounds. At MYIG I’ve met people who look, think, and act nothing like me, and yet I feel closer to them than many of the friends I’ve known for years. Despite our differences we are united by the belief that we can make change through democracy. That belief forges bonds of steel that will endure across miles and time. Words can’t express my excitement and passion toward MYIG.
To be elected Youth Governor is a tremendous honor and a humbling experience. Students are constantly told that we are the leaders of tomorrow, but as governor, I hope to inspire each delegate to become a leader of today. John Lewis said it best, “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?” At MYIG I learned that if we want to see change in our communities, we cannot expect anyone to come forward on our behalf. Instead we must stand on the front lines of democracy and arm ourselves with knowledge and humility.
2014 March Youth Governor