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Health services students chosen to speak at State Capitol

Nov. 15, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Eleven students from Western Michigan University have been selected to present bills before state lawmakers as part of Youth Legislative Day on Thursday, Nov. 18.

In addition to introducing bills, the health services students will hold committee meetings and debate their legislation at the State Capitol. They will be among more than 100 students statewide who will take over on the floor of the Michigan House of Representatives to debate issues dealing with health, education and human services.

WMU's Youth Legislative Day participants

School nutrition

  • Katie McDonald of Spring Lake, Mich.
  • Brittany Shafer of Taylor, Mich.
  • Kellan Quigley of Grayling, Mich.
  • Alana Bradley of Shelby Township, Mich.

Mental health in schools

  • Leon Camburn of Paw Paw, Mich.
  • Kimberly Stowe of St. Johns, Mich.
  • Emily Oele of Kalamazoo, Mich.
  • Rachel Dawda of Shelby Township, Mich.

Gang violence prevention

  • Courtney Merritt of Plainwell, Mich.
  • Christina Hartmann of Kalamazoo, Mich.
  • Adam Pehur of Sterling Heights, Mich.

The students' bills were selected among those submitted by students at Hope College and Michigan State University, says Angelique Day, a WMU doctoral student in the interdisciplinary health sciences program who also teaches the U.S. health policy course in WMU's undergraduate interdisciplinary health services program. Day used the competition as part of a class project.

"Conducting legislative bill writing and analysis is a challenge for students," Day says. "I think it really adds to the experience when students get to see first hand how the work they do in the classroom can lead to real change in state policy and in their local communities."

Michigan's Children, a nonpartisan organization providing a voice for children and families, has sponsored the hands-on approach to teaching the legislative process since 2001 to give youths from around the state an increased awareness of public policy and deeper interest in civic involvement. This year's event was co-sponsored by WMU and several other organizations.

A full agenda for Youth Legislative Day is available at michiganschildren.org.

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Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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