Morgan Dempsey is a junior at Garnet Valley High School and is the president of the Youth and Government Club. She started this club as a freshman and is preparing for Model, which is a 4-day conference in Harrisburg to simulate the government
Can you give me a basic overview of what YAG is?
YAG takes the regular three branches of government and adds a press branch and goes to Harrisburg for 5 days and runs the government. We elect a youth governor this year. It is Sam Bisno from Obama Academy in western Pennsylvania. He runs the executive branch so he has his full cabinet. The legislative branch submits bills all year and they hold a house and a senate. The house is then split into two chambers: a progressive and a conservative chamber. The bills can then get passed through the house and the senate then could possibly get signed by the Governor. In the judicial branch, there are about 10 Supreme Court justices we have one from our delegation Atreya Ghosh. There is one chief justice named Avi Lukacher. They get a Supreme Court case and then each side argues their case for 10 minutes.
You mentioned you formed the club so how do you feel about the club growing?
It is really amazing to see something grow. I started it at the end of my freshman year. Then my sophomore year was the first year. It really came up last year. We had 5 people go and we were all judicial delegates and now we have about 16 people going 5 of which hold state-wide positions. Two people are in the executive’s cabinet, one is an associate justice, and two legislative secretaries.
Is it hard managing all the clubs you help run and Junior Year?
Yes, it does get hard sometimes. We are in a sort of a weird cross between Speech and Debate and Youth and Government as speech and debate states and Youth and Government State Positions get pushed up, so winter is a little difficult, but it’s very important so I always make time.
Do you feel like you are prepared for Model?
Oh yeah, all of the delegates are definitely ready for model. I am really excited, I have a delegation leader conference with Sam the governor pretty soon. I am excited just to talk with the governor and ask any questions we may have. But, (sic) everyone seems pretty excited and ready for model.
Do you feel that Garnet Valley is represented in Model as a whole?
Garnet Valley is really good at model, to be quite frank. Last year I actually had a few delegation leaders who contacted me personally because I was trying to get my name out there. I had quite a few people write to me and say, “How are your kids doing so well, as most of them are first years?” Garnet Valley represents very well at model. We actually had 2 kids almost make it to quarter-finals last year. Harry Markel actually believes he will win the judicial competition this year, which is something to look forward to. They were written about in the Youth and Government newspaper. In the judicial section, they said, “A team to watch is Garnet Valley.” We are a very small delegation, but each pair in judicial was very very strong last year, and we plan to continue that streak this year.
I know that there has been some conflict over model being the same day as Junior Prom, how do you feel about that?
It was obviously really sad, we did lose a lot of people with conflicts about Junior Prom. All the officers except one are juniors and most of the club was comprised of juniors until they realized it was the same night. But, (sic) with our underclassman and juniors who elected to not to go to prom, we are still hoping for a really great yield this year. Also, all of the officers who are are juniors and all the juniors who have been elected to go we are actually planning to have our own prom in the hotel. Definitely look for pictures of those!
Do you have anything else you would like to tell me?
I would recommend YAG for anyone who’s interested in getting better at public speaking, writing, journalism, or law. We meet on B-days in the second half in Mr. Yohanan’s room.