Orange-Ulster BOCES’ Amy Bull Crist Youth in Government Program students from six local school districts participated in Orange County Service Day on Friday, April 8th. The Amy Bull Crist Youth in Government Program for high school students strives for maximum understanding of and participation in county and state government by the future voters and office holders of America. Students worked throughout the 2021-2022 school year on mock political elections to familiarize themselves with the electoral process. Ezra Clementson, program coordinator, said, “This program has thrived for decades in Orange County because it offers students a unique experience that engages them not only in the political process, but also provides them a lens on the service component of local government.”
The Youth in Government Program culminates in the Orange County Service Day which is organized by the Orange County Youth Bureau and Orange-Ulster BOCES. On Orange County Service Day students shadow Orange County government officeholders. Youth in Government members were able to visit and discuss operations in fifteen different county offices. Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said, “Each year, we are impressed by the young people who take the time to get involved in our local government. They actively participated in the different activities during the day and I know that everyone enjoyed spending time with them. We are all proud of these students and our partnership with Orange-Ulster BOCES.” County Executive Neuhaus attended remotely as he is currently deployed with the United States Navy Reserve.
Dr. Diane E. Lang, Director of Instructional Support Services at Orange-Ulster BOCES, was “impressed with the preparation and focus of all of the Youth in Government students.” Rachel Wilson, Orange County Youth Bureau Director said, “The Youth Bureau and BOCES appreciates the dedicated elected county officials and representatives from county departments who invest their time to give youth a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like in public service.” Lang chimed in, “It was a most extraordinary day of engaged learning. We are very grateful.”
Participants from Orange County high schools include:
Highland Falls - Fort Montgomery CSD: Chris Coyne (Advisor), Allison Gash, Claire Swenson, Jacob Brady, Colby Riley, Derek Black, Arthur Armstrong, Logan Virgil, Kate Feldman, Brynn Marks, and Kyle West.
Cornwall CSD: Matthew Cook (Advisor), Madelyn Jones (Advisor), James Bersig, James Lorino, Adam Greher, and Aaron Caoili.
Port Jervis CSD: Lisa Perkowski (Advisor), Josephine Amato, Penny Jones, Erin Witkowski, Braeden Ross, and Rachael Duryea.
Valley Central CSD: Katilyn Bruna (Advisor), David Cloer (Advisor), Aniya Thompson, Juliana Abdelsayed-Roblero, Julia Man, Kelsie Torres, Sarah Lababreh, Isaiah Tejada, and Alyssa Holtje.
Warwick Valley CSD: Kevan Ottochian (Advisor), Abigail Gatula, Theodore, Fernandez, Lena Jodry, Jonah Campbell, Sean Moroney, Ollivia Holland, Samantha Salit, Lian Kevins, Mitchell Ayers, Tanya Sinha, Harry Rosenstein, Faith Sikorski, and Christian Katsabanis.
Washingtonville CSD: Elizabeth Bierling-Powers (Advisor), Aaron Scheopf, Max Ossentjuk, Jonathan Waaland, Charlotte Peterson, Alexis Jones, Ryan Kelleher, and Amanda Stephens.
Orange-Ulster BOCES Mission Statement:
The mission of the Orange-Ulster BOCES is to serve our component districts and community in the development of continuous learners who will be successful in meeting the challenges of living in our society today and in the future. We will accomplish this mission in a cost-effective manner with a dedicated, skilled, caring staff providing quality educational services in a safe, nurturing and accessible environment.