Many people say that the youth are the future of the nation. America has been known to place value on the education on young adults. However, many young people still do not exercise their right to vote, and some do not have interests in engaging the political climate of the country. That is probably one of the reasons why local high school students held an open mock debate at the Historic Sacramento City Hall recently. The event was hosted by the YMCA organization. The subjects they discussed were wide ranging from campaign finance to the health care system. The YMCA hopes that these debates will get the students into politics and participate in American democracy.
“Ninety-six percent of program alumni are registered to vote compared to only 60% of the general population,” says Amanda McCarthy, Executive Director of the Sacramento Central YMCA. With that data, it is not hard to see why the YMCA is doing this kind of mock debate for high school students. It provides an open door for students to engage in political issues and policy by taking nonpartisan stands in the debate. Many debaters have to prepare for both sides of the argument in case they were to call to promote or defend it. Highly crafted arguments were made by both sides of the debate to demonstrate the students skills and mastery in politics and understanding of complex legislations. They spent months researching and refining their talents for this presentation.
There were many audiences ranging from parents to interested people. They mass a crowd of over thirties to listen and be their audiences. Those adult take regular participation in the debate as to keep the student on their toes. The room was fully engaged each time a student come to speak on the subject. The program hopes that once the time comes, these students will exercise their political right.