by Martha Greco
Order in the chamber - Youth and Government is officially back in session! Over the past two weekends, pre-conference occurred in Raleigh, Winston-Salem and New Bern. Gathering from across the state, delegates and officers kicked off the 2023-2024 YAG year together.
A key component of pre-conference is deciding your branch, bill topics, and whether to apply for a specialty position. This can seem daunting but advice from this year's Governor, Cooper Herrett, is to take the risk, try something new and get involved as much as you can. “Get involved in as many ways as possible, whether it be specialty positions or even running for office,” Herrett said. “It's really exciting and fun to have an involved role.”
Amidst the process of finding your program fit at YAG, pre-conference provides a space for delegates to reconnect, especially with those they have not seen since February. “I'm most excited to see everyone because this is the only time we actually get to meet in person before the whole thing in February,” Herrett said.
While some are reuniting with their YAG friends, pre-conference is many delegates' first introduction to the program. With this may come nerves over bill presentations, learning Parli Pro, or about the conference overall. However, Chief of Staff Springer Hiatt is ready to provide guidance on how to make the most out of conference. “My advice is to be outgoing,” Hiatt said. “If you're normally someone who's kind of reserved, take this time to get out of your comfort zone and make new friends. Speak pro, speak con, and have a good time.”
Pre-conference is just the start of this YAG year and the energy is already set for February.
“Pre-conference gets me excited, it gets me in the YAG mood,” Hiatt said. “I get to see everyone working hard and it gets me looking forward to what's to come in February.”
To learn more about Youth & Government and our annual conference, visit our website.