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From HOW eNews Issue 2, Volume 3

Reflections of a TeenPact Student
By Lily James
   The first time I attended the Teen Pact Wyoming state class, I did not know what to expect. I was in for the ride of my life. I had never really learned about politics or government, much less how I could get involved. Doing the pre-class homework gave me a small taste of the week ahead of me. Not only did I learn the basic structure and function of the government, but I learned that I need to be involved.
   The Teen Pact state class is designed for teenagers ages thirteen to nineteen. It is a four-day intensive study of the state governmental system. The time spent at the state capitol during the legislative session allows students to learn firsthand from those involved in the state government. Part of the pre-class homework requires us to write our own bills, and during the class, we debate these bills in our own mock legislature. We also get to spend time watching the real legislature in action and talk to the lobbyists walking the halls of the capitol. There are also mock elections where students will run for offices like Representative or Governor of the Wyoming Teen Pact state class. The optional speech class on Friday has become one of my favorite days of the state class because of the fun and interactive method of teaching.  All of the teaching is designed for hands-on learning, and this was definitely a fun way to learn about my state.
   Before the class began, I began to pray for my legislators and my governor, but while I was there, I saw that I could do more than pray. I saw that there were ways that I, a young homeschooler, could change events in my state and country. Many Christians will watch the downward spiral of the country with disappointment, but Teen Pact showed me that I had an obligation to do something about it. Through experience, I saw how easy it was to communicate with my legislators. I learned how to defend my position on important issues.  We were also taught the importance of respect and professional interaction through the way we dressed and communicated. We spent the class time in and around the capitol, learning from the leaders that have experienced the political madness firsthand.
   Although the political classroom was a huge part of Teen Pact, I learned so much more than that.  Teen Pact challenged me in my walk with God. Every morning started with a time of worship and a small devotional led by one of the staff members. Every evening ended with a time of teaching from God’s Word. Everything we learned at the capitol was grounded in the Word of God. In my opinion, the best part of the state class is the time we spend walking the halls of the capitol and stopping to pray for the people that are making decisions that will change our state. From the capitol to the free time spent playing Ultimate Frisbee, everyone grew in their love for the Lord.
   One of my favorite things about Teen Pact is the people that are involved. The leaders and staff are always very encouraging. I have made some of my closest friends through the Teen Pact state class and alumni events. After attending the state class, new opportunities are opened for students to attend alumni events held at various locations around the country. This allows us to meet other Teen Pact students from other states. Because of the experiences that are shared, there is an instant connection and some of the friendships formed will last for a lifetime.
   I have attended three state classes here in Wyoming as well as two alumni events. Each and every time, I have learned something new that I can apply in my daily life. I can say that God has transformed my life through the work of Teen Pact. He has showed me that I have to change my life before I can change the world. He has also taught me that I can change the world outside of politics.
   This is not a time that you can afford to miss. If you want to make a difference, if you want to be challenged, you need to sign-up for the Teen Pact Wyoming state class today. Teen Pact is held in more than 38 states, “turning students into statesmen”. Thousands of lives have already been transformed. Are you ready? Change in our country starts with you. Attending the Teen Pact Wyoming state class will change your life, preparing you to change others.


 

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