Students have a voice

Alex E., Opinion Editor

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On Friday, January 19, the Ronald Reagan Library held the annual Simi Valley Youth Town Hall. This event was sponsored by the Ronald Reagan Speaker Series for Students and the Simi Valley Youth Council.

The Simi Valley Youth Council is an advisory board that was started to help fix issues that affect the youth in our community. This year, the focus of the Youth Town Hall was on the state of education in California. Students from all Simi Valley high schools and middle schools were invited to attend.

The Ronald Reagan Library brought in four different people from the educational field to help answer questions about education. The panel consisted of Senator Scott Wilk of California’s 21st District, Dr. Greg Gillespie the Chancellor of Ventura County Community College District, SVUSD Trustee Dawn Smollen, and SVUSD Superintentendent Dr. Jason Peplinski.

Many topics were discussed, including bullying, school lunches, and college costs. During the topics, many questions were asked and answered by the panel, but not all of the answers were expected. One surprising answer was when all of the speakers said that they support going to community college instead of going straight to a four year college.

What makes the Youth Town Hall so important, is that all the questions were written and asked by students. A week before the event, students made Flip Grids and came up with questions for the speakers. Then, when they arrived at the event, they had another opportunity to write down questions for the panel.

Freshman A. Minae said, “I enjoyed hearing the panel address different topics pertaining to education. It was very helpful and made me optimistic for my future years of schooling.”

Freshman L. McCrossan said, “I found the Youth Town Hall conference very helpful and interesting as I learned more about what options I have in the future.”

Overall, the Youth Town Hall was a fun and informative experience that was well received by all the students who participated.

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