2017 High School State Conference
Results and Awards


Last weekend we held our 70th Annual YMCA Texas Youth and Government High School State Conference. Over 1300 students from our 5 Districts across Texas convened in Austin for 3 days of mock-government in our Judicial, Legislative, Media and State Affairs sections. As always, it was humbling to see our mission to help teenagers become responsible citizens and future leaders of our nation put into action.

We would like to celebrate the success of all our students by sharing the 2017 High School State Conference Results and Awards presentation, which can be found here. Please join us in congratulating all of our delegates on a job well done!

Results and Awards, 2017 High School State Conference

Sitting For What She Believes In

Bri Branscomb explains her journey to YG State Conference

By: Kyle Gehman

The class stands up, starts to recite with “I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America”, however, a sophomore from Leander High School stays seated.

She Bri Branscomb from the Leander High School delegation and is here for her first year debating on the House of Representatives floor. She comes from a multi-racial parent background and has strong, firm view on certain issues that she hopes she can respectfully share with other delegates.

“I think it is important for kids to be participating in democracy because we are given a right that not a lot of other countries have, and that’s a role in our government and a role in how our country will be run,” Branscomb said. “So I think if you have an opportunity to have your voice heard and open about your opinions and what you believe then you should take every chance you can take.” Read More

The Need to Refine Title IX

By: Nettie Comerford

To start the General Affairs session at the 2017 Youth and Government competition, Chambliss Peirson, Allison Reimer, and Lily Turner proposed, to increase accountability of schools who are in violation of Title IV and perpetrators of sexual assault in universities. The group began by sharing a testimony from an anonymous Vanderbilt student: “On June 22 of 2013, as a happy, hardworking Vanderbilt student looking forward to my future, I’ve seen with my own eyes what I was when Mr. Batey was done with me, a piece of trash, face down in a hallway covered in his urine and paw prints. Since that night all I I’ve wanted is for this to be behind me. But the process to get justice has been a never ending constant misery in my life that I can’t remember a time when this wasn’t happening.” Read More

Pesticide Proposal Proves Progressive

By: Willow Dalehite

During the General Assembly of the State Affairs forum, proposals that passed the first round on Friday were discussed, amended, and voted on by all State Affairs delegates. Among those passed was a proposal entitled “Texas Water Quality” by delegate Noah Busbee of Dallas, which, with seven amendments, outlined a plan to improve Texas water quality by replacing inorganic pesticides with approved organic pesticides and imposing fines and other punishments for a farmer’s or vendor’s failure to follow the proposals guidelines. Busbee’s proposal was vigorously debated as delegates motioned to increase the time allotted for undebatable questions and pro and con debates, and the proceedings were interjected with bursts of humor and vehement “nay”s and “yay”s.

“While Texas is the leading producer of wind energy, its water pollution ranks among the worst in the nation. It’s the second worst water polluter in the nation, dumping 16.5 million pounds of toxic chemicals... Read More


Invisible Hands in the Legislature

By Caden Ziegler

The primary function of both the Lobbyists and the Governor’s  Cabinet is to push an agenda on the House or Senate. Both sections attempt to persuade Senators or people from the House to vote a certain way on certain bills.

As a Governor’s Cabinet member from Oklahoma, Grace Hunziker, says: “We are just working with the Governor to kind of oversee all of the bills… and just make sure we get the right bills on his desk for him to sign.” Unlike the Governor’s Cabinet, the Lobbyists do not push the Governor’s agenda. According to Samik Sha Deme, “[they] kinda have [their] own agenda, and [they] form coalitions within the lobbyists so that [they] can work together.”

The two sections attempt to sway the vote on bills by “[talking] to delegates in the chambers and see what they are thinking about... Read More

Bill Proposes Strict Regulations for the Purchase of Firearms

By Briana Taylor

Youth and Government delegates participating in Hyde House, which is a branch of the Legislative section, spend their day presenting bills that were previously passed by Hyde Senate, and have since been passed down to them. Delegates propose amendments for bills of fellow delegates, and vote on the passage of the bills. Delegates don’t usually get to choose which bills they sponsor, but they can be observed putting the utmost effort into the presentation of the bill they are given. Sessions can last hours before a recess, which can make for a very tense environment. Hyde House can be a long and grueling process, but at the end of the day, the passing of a bill or amendment makes all the hard work and dedication worth it. Read More

Texas Y&G Cities

Aledo • Alvin • Amarillo • Arlington Austin • Azle • Bastrop • Baytown Bedford • Benbrook • Buda Carrollton • College Station • Conroe Coppell • Corpus Christi • Dallas Del Valle • DeSoto • Dripping Springs Duncanville • Euless • Fort Worth Frisco • Garland • Granbury Grand Prairie • Houston • Irving Joshua • Katy • Keller • Kingwood League City • Leander • McKinney Midland • Missouri City North Richmond Hills • Palestine Pasadena • Plano • Richardson Richmond • Rockwall • Round Rock Rowlett • Royse City • Sachse Saginaw • San Antonio • Splendora Sugarland • The Woodlands Weatherford • Webster • Wimberley Wylie

A Goodbye from your 2017
Print Editor

By: Grayson Porter

Being a part of Youth and Government, as a delegate and an officer, has provided me with some of the best times of my life. From learning how to hone my skills in journalism or learning how to socialize in professional settings, YG has taught me an array of skills I can use in my future.

My freshman year I joined Print Media to spend time with friends and to meet people outside of my school. I was intimidated by the idea of failure my first year, but regardless I was able to push past my fear and help contribute to my first “Golden Gavel” newspaper.. Read More

A Statement From Governor Kennedy in Response to Media Article

In light of a recent article released by Print Media, Governor Kennedy Montgomery has requested we release a statement to defend his reasoning behind dismissing the media from his meetings. In Print Media we honor the input from delegates and officers alike, but we also support the work and reporting of our journalists. The Print Media department of YAG will not be retracting any facts in the published article. As stated in the original article, Governor Kennedy was within his power to dismiss the media, and we are in our power to report on those dismissals.

The statement from Governor Montgomery is as follows...Read More

Tension in the House

By: Chloe Opelt

Bill presentations in the House started at 9 a.m. on January 28, 2017. During bill presentations, delegates can develop a sense of urgency to question bill authors, turn in pro/con slips, and present amendments. One complication is time, most actions in the House are timed due to the lack thereof. Additionally, there is a large amount of delegates participating in the 2016-2017 State Conference, all of which are eager to take part in the events of the day, thus proving it to be more difficult to find time to speak individually. These obstacles are a possible cause of tension...Read More

Lower Drinking Age Proposed In Hyde Senate

By Heather Costello

The Hyde Senate debated intensely on Brent Baldwin’s, a delegate from the Christian Life Preparatory School delegation, bill that if passed would change the legal drinking age in Texas to 16.  Although, the bill didn’t pass with a 20-16 vote at the end of the secession. Proponent speaker used statistical evidence to support their bill while opponent speaker took to emotional stories to state their chase...Read More

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