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Health services students become legislators for a day

March 11, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University health and human services students will play a prominent role in Youth Legislative Day, a statewide event March 19 that offers young people the opportunity to introduce bills, hold committee meetings and debate mock legislation on the floor of the Michigan House of Representatives.

Voices for Michigan's Children has sponsored the hands-on approach to teaching the legislative process since 2001. Focusing this year on youth health issues, it is co-sponsored by the School Community Health Alliance of Michigan as well as WMU and its College of Health and Human Services.

The event is being coordinated by Angelique Day, a WMU doctoral student in the interdisciplinary health sciences program, who also teaches the U.S. health policy course in the undergraduate interdisciplinary health services program. In addition, Day is an outreach associate with Voices for Michigan's Children and is responsible for the organization's youth policy leadership programs. As a WMU class project, she challenged her students to select the bills that will be debated at the event and conduct a policy analysis for each bill selected.

On March 19, the WMU students will be among 80 youths from across Michigan who gather at the Capitol from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Students will receive policy-making training and participate in a luncheon discussion with policy makers and lobbyists. They will undertake a full afternoon working in the way legislators do, running the bills through the legislative process, including introduction on the house floor, referral to committees, deliberation and a vote.

Youth Legislative Day - Agenda

Voices for Michigan's Children is a nonprofit organization that advocates for children and families and provides the tools youths, families and communities need to become advocates on their own behalf. The School Community Health Alliance of Michigan is a collaboration of individuals and organizations that represent and support school-based and school-linked health centers and programs. The event is made possible through the support of the Kresge Foundation.

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

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