Thirty students participated in the second Annual Annapolis Day for Youth sponsored by Maryland State Delegate Tony Knotts on Saturday, November 12.
The Prince George’s County Drug Policy Coalition, Inc., the National Harbor Chapter of Jack and Jill, Inc. and Henry’s Soul Café co-sponsored the event. Students from Friendly, Oxon Hill, Crossland and Elizabeth Seton High Schools elected their leadership, discussed bills and voted on an Alternatives to Suspension Pilot Program bill and an Extension of Child Support bill.
Maryland State Delegate Erek Barron gave a rousing keynote address to the students that showed his path to his present position as a state delegate.
“I grew up in a single family home,” he said. “Through the support of my mom and other mentors, I have achieved far beyond my own expectations. I have sat in places that included our president and vice president. You all are receiving a tremendous opportunity to be here and understand very early how this place works,” he said.
Delegate Knotts told the students to be sure to let their friends know about this event for next year. “We want to give as many students as we can an opportunity to quickly understand how this process works,” he said.
Students were then treated to lunch prior to their departure. Kameron Snider, a student at Friendly, told the sponsors, “Today’s experience was amazing! I feel that it is important for us to have a hands on experience about how a bill becomes law and that’s what happened today.”
D’Airra Clark, another student participant, said, “My experience today makes me want to do more to serve my community.”
President of the Prince George’s County Drug Policy Coalition, Inc. said, “Getting students engaged is so important for our well-being in the community and their growth as student learners and leaders. This is our second year working with Delegate Knotts and the other co-sponsors. We are thrilled to see the level of excitement and interest these students show when debating the bills before them. They demonstrated the kind of leadership skills that will put them on a path for exceptional achievement,” she said.