Students develop legislation and present their bill to their peers at the assembly, modeling the state legislature. These delegatesserve as Representatives or Senators. They work to pass bills as they mirror government in action. Delegates also participate in a Civics Challenge, a competition designed to prepare students for the Seventh Grade Civics statewide EOC (End of Course) Assessment that will go into effect next school year.
Only three Southwest Florida bills passed the House and Senate at the Assembly and were sent to the Governor. Among those achieving this honor was Alessio’s bill, an Act relating to a State Ban on Assault Weapons. His arguments were to not ban all guns, only those that shot 30-45 bullets or more per minute. These weapons were notnecessary for home protection or hunting. The bill was a total of four pages long.
Marco Island Charter Middle School students attending the assembly included Andrew Buhelos, Daniel Fireman, Kyle Ginther, Howard Jordan and Hunter O’Neill. St. John Neumann High School students were Kyle MacDonald, Paula Martin and Walker Suddeth.
Alessio hopes to possibly pursue a career in politics one day but first would like to serve the country in the Air Force.
The Youth in Government program is a YMCA program coordinated in the schools by Derek Summerville. Derek covers South County YMCA (Fort Myers), Greater Marco Island YMCA and the Charlotte County Family YMCA.