Government and politics are passions of Burnsville High School senior Olivia Brammer, so her participation in Youth in Government (YIG) for the past four years should come to no surprise for anyone who knows her. This year, at YIG’s Model United Nations in April, she served as the director of the conference resource center, a role she was elected to at last year’s conference.
Another BHS student, Liam Thomas, was elected to that very same role for next year’s conference.
Model United Nations is a counterpart of the YMCA’s Youth in Government program where students throughout Minnesota represent U.N. member states and meet to debate international issues and resolve situational problems. In the process, they gain skills related to researching, problem-solving, public speaking and thinking globally. More than 800 students in grades 7-12 from participated, with 50 of those students being from District 191.
Liam, a junior this year, will be responsible next year for helping delegates research topics that will help them in their deliberation, the same position that Olivia held this year. He praised Olivia for her work at Model U.N. this year.
“I am so incredibly excited and humbled to be taking over the position from Olivia,” Liam said. “Olivia has been a mentor of mine both inside and outside of Youth in Government and without her, I could have never had the confidence to run for an elected position.”
Olivia had a similar reaction when she found out about Liam’s election.
“I was so excited to find out that he won!” Olivia said. “Since the conference resource center runs the elections and counts the votes, I knew before anyone else did.”
Olivia added that she sees this as “just the beginning for Liam” and that she sees him as a possible future candidate in a public office.
Liam has been involved in Youth in Government for four years, and with Model U.N. for two years. This year, he was a staff member in the conference resource center, working with Olivia. Also among their staff was BHS junior Alyse Dees, who was elected to be presiding officer of the National Issues Forum at YIG’s Model Assembly next year, another leadership role in the YIG program.
Learn more about Youth in Government and Model United Nations by visiting www.ymcamn.org/locations/youth_in_government.