New Club At OHS

New Youth And Government Club takes a trip to Jefferson City


Photo Submitted By Travis Norris

Travis Norris gets his bill signed by the Youth and Government committee. “I was really excited to get my bill signed,” Norris said. Norris was the only student of 13 from OHS to get his bill signed and approved.

Earlier this year, OHS history teachers Kara Beck and AJ Shinabargar created the Youth and Government Club for students interested in the process of state government and how it works. 

“It had been something that Mr. Shinabargar had really wanted to create. He had participated as a student, so once the pandemic ended, we decided to get started,” Beck said. 

And on Dec. 1-3, the Youth and Government Club took a trip to the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City.

“To prepare for the trip, we hosted meetings where students wrote and prepared bills that they would present to the committee at the capitol,” Beck said. 

While in Jefferson City, students presented their bills to the student government representatives.

It was like a mock version of the Missouri state government,” Travis Norris (11) said. “We make bills, present the bill and the goal is to get your bill signed.” 

Norris was the only student out of 13 from Oakville who went on the trip who got his bill signed. His bill was about eliminating the sub minimum wage. 

“It felt really great to get my bill signed,” Norris said. “I collaborated with a girl named Selma from Kirkwood who came up with the same bill that I did. We were both really excited.”

Many of the students involved in the club feel that it is a great opportunity for anyone interested in government or even just for trying something new. 

“I definitely learned more about how professional and important legal stuff is, but also how you have to have respectful conversations and discussions while still getting your point across,” Zoe Simeral (10) said.

The group of students really enjoyed getting to know each other outside of school.

“A group of us hung out during the whole trip, and I felt like we really became friends outside of the Youth And Government convention,” Grace Hickman (11) said. “ And with that, we all built connections.”

If you are interested in joining the club next year and taking the trip to Jefferson City, talk to Mrs. Beck or Mr. Shinabargar in the history department. 

“I would say definitely do it, even if you are scared or nervous, because trust me, I was,” Ava Strickland (11) said. “The group of kids was a lot of fun. I would suggest mingling with the group. Your trip will be a lot more fun that way. And even if you aren’t into government that much, it is a great experience and you definitely learn a lot.”