ANNAPOLIS – A security guard wearing a white dress shirt and striped tie stepped to the side and invited 11 Team BCPS students to take a seat in State House gallery.
From their perch high above the House floor, students watched as state politicians took their seats for a gathering of the Maryland General Assembly.
The students, from schools throughout the county, are part of the Baltimore County Student Council’s Executive Board. The Baltimore County Student Councils is a student-led organization that supports school administrators, the Board of Education of Baltimore County, and the Maryland Association of Student Councils by providing valuable input and feedback on issues that affect all students.
They are exceptionally driven students who embrace and seek out leadership roles both in the BCSC and at their high schools.
The students have an interest in politics, of course. So each year, BCSC sponsors a trip to Annapolis, where students can learn more about how bills get passed and how politicians collaborate.
This year, BCSC president Jordyn Wilson had a leadership role in organizing the event, which was no surprise. Wilson, a Hereford High Grade 12 student who has been active in BCSC for several years, is a natural leader. Wilson will return to the General Assembly in a few weeks as a student page.
“I like seeing government come to life,” she said. “When you can actually meet your delegates and your state senators and see them taking action and making change, it’s cool to make those connections.”
The BCSC contingent visited many buildings throughout the day, starting at the State House, with a warm morning welcome from Del. Stephen Lafferty and State Sen. Jim Brochin.
Brochin led students on a State House tour. He then answered questions along with Lafferty before getting to the day’s business.
Students also visited their elected district representatives and witnessed afternoon committee hearings. Those who were in their offices were eager to meet the student leaders and asked questions about their high school experiences.
“Seeing democracy in action: I think that’s important for everyone in our society,” Franklin High Grade 10 student Ruben Amaya said. “It really changes your perspective about how government works. I think it really shows how much your voice really matters in democracy.”
Another benefit to a trip like this? Camaraderie. Wilson is nearing graduation and debating which college she will attend. Her time in BCSC is nearing a conclusion. New student leaders will need to be elected. She spent a considerable amount of time with BCSC’s Grade 9 and Grade 10 representatives in Annapolis.
In future years, it will be up to them to lead BCSC and develop procedures that will benefit students throughout the county.