Farmingdale High School students Evelyn Alarcon, Alyssa Chametzky, Audrey Malanga, Arwa Naveed, and Alexa Pangourelias, accompanied by social studies teachers Ms. Lauren Compitello and Mr. Paul Phelan, attended the YMCA’s Youth and Government Mock Legislative Weekend in Albany from March 24th to March 26th.
The students had been diligently working on a mock legislative bill. Their bill was an act to mandate mental health counselors in all public schools in New York State. There is currently no law that says that a school must have a social worker or psychologist, so the group wanted to make sure that every student had the opportunity to speak to a certified mental health counselor during the school day. The group presented their bill to students from across New York State during the legislative weekend, and it was passed by the student legislature.
Youth and Government has been a vital part of the YMCA since the 1950s. For decades, students have attended the mock legislative session every spring and walked away with a deeper understanding, appreciation, and interest in our democratic process.