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Greensburg students participate in government conference

Through Decatur County YMCA

(INDIANAPOLIS) -- Five Greensburg students recently participated in the Indiana YMCA’s Youth and Government conference.

Established in 1965, the program is a model government conference for grades 6-12 students.

Students can participate in a mock version of the Indiana State Senate, Indiana House of Representatives, or Indiana Supreme Court. The program enhances students' debate, critical thinking, and public speaking skills, as well as governmental processes and legislation knowledge.

Declan Bruns, Brenley Jameson, Carmin Ripperger, Charlie Stauffacher, and Tyler Williams

represented the Decatur County Family YMCA at the conference.

Bruns and Ripperger served as youth Representatives, Stauffacher and Williams served as youth Senators, and Jameson served as a youth justice/attorney.

Both Stauffacher’s and Williams’s bills passed in the Senate. Stauffacher’s bill concerned access to rural mental health resources. Williams’s bill advocated for a reflective tape for law enforcement vehicles, and Bruns and Ripperger’s collaborative bill sought to end shaming around school lunches.

“Our group of students has been working on their bills and cases since October of last year. Each student worked diligently to prepare for the conference, as evident by their performance in the conference,” said program advisor Sam Miller.

In addition to the debate sectors of the conference, students can run for appointed offices, including Youth Governor, Youth Lt. Governor, Youth Committee Chairs, and Youth Speaker

of the House.

Stauffacher will serve as the Youth Lt. Governor for the 2025 conference. His appointment will make him the third Lt. Governor from the Decatur County Family YMCA in just five years.

“It is great to see local high school students participate in this area of civil engagement. I have had the privilege of watching our participants for the last several years," said Diane Hart-Dawson, CEO of the Decatur County Family YMCA. "I am always impressed by the professional way in which they present themselves and the leadership skills they display.

Those interested in the Youth and Government program or any other youth or teen programs at the Decatur County Family YMCA should contact Joe Poteet, the Youth Development Director at 812- 663-9622.


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