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From HOW eNews Issue 1, Volume 3

More than a Government Class

By Kiefer Partridge


     If you’re like most people, the thought of getting up in front of a group of people to speak makes you weak in the knees. When you say “I’d rather die than do that,” you’re probably not joking—statistics show that the average person fears public speaking more than death.
     So if I wanted to convince you to come to an event, telling you that public speaking is involved would probably be the wrong thing to say.
     Well, that’s what I’m going to do. This February, you and other students across the state have the opportunity to attend the Wyoming state TeenPact class. You’ll learn a million things related to government—from parliamentary procedure and interpreting the Constitution, to public speaking and debating bills in a mock legislative session.
     Yes, there’s public speaking involved. Yes, the guys have to wear ties. The girls have to wear skirts. And yes, there’s homework to do.
     But don’t run away just yet. Because you don’t come home from TeenPact with just a knowledge of how government works. You don’t just learn how a bill becomes a law. You don’t just learn how to look up and track bills as they pass through the legislature. You learn more than your congressman’s name and how important it is for you to communicate with him on how you feel about crucial issues. You don’t simply learn about lobbyists and what they do. You learn more than how a campaign works and what you can do to help in the election process. You come home with the knowledge and the inspiration to change your world.
     See, TeenPact teaches students about government from a thoroughly Biblical perspective. Every aspect of the sessions, every subject covered throughout the week, shows you how important it is for Christians to be involved in government. The phrase “too young” never comes up—every activity, every breakout session gives you a glimpse into the incredible impact that we, as young people, can have on the world around us.
     We can change the world. And we’re not even old enough to vote yet.
     That’s why the homework, the suits and ties, the dressing professionally are so important. A TeenPact state class is an intense time of hands-on training for a new generation of world-changers—our generation.
     And the results are really exciting, too—this year, two former TeenPact students were elected the youngest members of the Oklahoma house of representatives. Three TeenPact dads were elected to city offices (including our very own Mr. Tim Albin as mayor of Wright, WY), and the founder of TeenPact, Mr. Tim Echols, was elected to the Georgia Public Service Commission. Not only that, but hundreds of TeenPact students volunteered on political campaigns across the country, doing their part to elect godly men and women to office. It’s clear that God is using TeenPact to change the lives of young people, and using those young people to change the world.
     This February during the Wyoming class, we’ll debate bills in a mock legislative session, run for office in a mock election, prayerwalk around the capitol, and have breakout sessions to learn about everything from lobbyists and their job to looking up bills and communicating with our legislators. (And for those of you who don’t think that sounds like fun—well, it is. Really.) We’ll start and end each day with worship and great devotions from the amazing staff. And we’ll end the week with a public speaking class that turns something so terrifying into something that’s a lot of fun.
     I’ve been to the Wyoming state class twice, and it’s no stretch to say that being involved with TeenPact has changed my life. It’s challenged me to grow in ways I’d never been stretched before; it’s given me opportunities to step up in leadership in ways that I didn’t know were possible. The lessons I’ve learned will stay with me forever, and the friends I’ve made will too. This year I have the privilege of staffing the state class, and I’m sure it will be another chance to grow.
     So I can’t encourage you enough to come to TeenPact. The staff, from the directors to the interns and local state staff, myself included, are busy preparing to make sure that it will be a powerful, fun, and exciting week that leaves a lasting impact on your life  and encourages you to step up and dare great things for the glory of God.
     Time is short—to learn more and register, check out teenpact.com/wyoming. I know you won’t regret it!
     For His glory,
     Kiefer Partridge
     TeenPact WY Governor 2010

 

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