Summer is the time for former high school juniors to participate in youth leadership camps. Four students from Chase County Schools were chosen to attend camps, with three making the trips.
Mayra Acosta, 17, attended Cornhusker Girls State in Lincoln May 31-June 6. As part of the process of learning about government, she was voted in as a city council member for the town of “Adams” in “Castle County.”
Acosta, the daughter of Arturo and Maribel Acosta of Imperial, said her council had to plan for a smoking ban, which was imminent.
It was realistic, she said, learning about debates and politics. Other issues debated included the use of laptops, texting and cell phones in school, and the legal drinking age.
“It was a really good experience,” she enthused. Acosta also was able to tour the Capitol and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus.
She enjoyed meeting people from all over the state, and plans to keep in touch with them through sports.
Chevy Smith, 17, attended Cornhusker Boys State in Lincoln May 31-June 6. He was elected to the legislature, representing the city of Lincoln.
Smith, the son of Gregg and Denise Smith of Imperial, followed “all types of bills” through the legislative process. “Anything from abortion to silly things like more time for lunch,” he added.
“I learned that a lot of different people have a lot of different opinions,” Smith said. “You listen to all sides of the issue, form an opinion and find a solution that benefits everybody. It was definitely challenging.”
Smith said he had a lot of fun meeting people with which he plans to continue conversing.
Jilanne German, 18, was chosen to attend the RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Academy) at Halsey National Forest July 18-22.
Every morning there were speakers, and every afternoon German took part in confidence courses, such as canoeing, a climbing wall, and walking on a telephone cable with a harness.
Although she enjoyed the activities, the daughter of Scott and Linda German of rural Chase County also learned things about herself.
“You think about the qualities you have and what to work on,” she explained. German learned that “When you’re a leader you can’t make everyone happy,” adding that she tends to be a mediator rather than telling people what to do.
German enjoyed meeting people and hopes to keep in contact with them through sports.
Tyler Roenfeldt was unable to attend RYLA for boys this summer.