One of YIG’s many appeals is that it helps you throughout the rest of your life- but is this true?
Through the years, many delegates have graduated from the program, and moved on to bigger and better things: did Youth in Government help them with this?
Nora Ptacek, a former Wisconsin youth governor, and Genevieve Frank, a former Fox Cities delegate, have both moved on from YIG into the real world and had some very real insight on this topic.
Ptacek says that she knew from the get-go that YIG would have a lasting impact. “My involvement in the program opened doors when I was in high school and has continued to do so after my graduation,” she stated. It also an “undeniably positive impact” on her life that allowed her to “improve [her] critical thinking skills and more deeply understand perspectives that aren’t [her] own.” The relationships built in YIG also had a lasting impact on Ptacek. She said, “Some of my best friends, the people I talk to everyday, are from the program.” YIG was a gateway for her to form friendships with YIG members across the country. When asked about memorable events, Nora said that it was hard to decide “only because there were so many.” Although, she mentioned that when she finished her ‘term’ of Youth Governor, she had the opportunity to pass on the Executive Branch and “seeing them thrive from afar has been really special.” As a parting note, Ptacek added, “I’m grateful to YIG for building in me a public servant, a leader, and a follower.”
Former delegate Genevieve Frank said, “I did not ever expect YIG to have the impact on me that it did; I just wanted to go to Madison without my parents.” Her whole life was affected by YIG, as it gave her “lifelong friends as well as public speaking skills, the ability to easily meet and talk to anyone, and a mindset open to friendly debate.” As Frank was a member of the Legislative branch, she recalled that “there’s no feeling like the feeling of having a bill pass unanimously in senate- it’s the best mixture of pride and accomplishment.” She also stated that she will always remember YIG very fondly. “When I was a participant, I adored every second, even the moments of frustration that came with leadership,” Frank said.
All in all, YIG has had a very lasting effect on both of these former delegates, and it probably will with you as well. Keep this in mind as you go about your endeavors, whether that encompasses Model Government or the world beyond.