16 middle school students representing Beverly Vista, El Rodeo, Hawthorne and Horace Mann Schools spent Wednesday, May 9th at Beverly Hills City Hall for Youth in Government Day 2018. The students attended department meetings, made field site visits, toured the police and fire departments and attended an executive retreat.
“Some of the highlights were probably the tour of the police and fire stations because we got to see what the people who protect our city do, as well as the table talks with all of the city officials because we really got to learn about and talk to the people who run our city,” said El Rodeo 8th grader Eli Ramer, who served as City Treasurer for the day. “It’s a good opportunity to learn about the involvement you can eventually have in your city.”
The day culminated in a Youth City Council meeting that was televised live on BHTV from the City Council Chamber. Students discussed local issues in a traditional public meeting format, designed to bring awareness to the importance of being involved in local government.
“I had a really great experience. I think it was very professional which I liked, because most people wouldn’t treat teenagers with this much respect and special treatment. I got to see what people in real life jobs do,” said Lillian Esagoff from Hawthorne, who was acting as City Manager.
Lillian's favorite discussion by the students at the Mock City Council Meeting?
“I think the parking issue, because many people have different ideas and introduced new ideas to address the issue,” she said.
David Foldvary, Horace Mann Assistant Principal says the annual program really brings the 8th grade social studies curriculum to life.
“They get a sense of the city in which they live and all of the infrastructure that makes that city tick - business, transportation, safety," said Foldvary, "They hopefully gain some interest in being involved in local politics or broader politics down the line, and hopefully connect it to what they’re studying in 8th grade social studies about U.S. Government.”
Pictured in group photo:
Bottom row left to right: Jennifer Li, Horace Mann; Julien Hadim, Hawthorne; Ayla Su, Hawthorne; Zoe Bloom, El Rodeo; Sean Lee, Horace Mann; Samantha Maybaum, Beverly Vista; Sabrina Camua, Horace Mann.
Second row left to right: Ruby Laks, El Rodeo; Lillian Esagoff, Hawthorne; Eli Ramer, El Rodeo; Emma Newman, El Rodeo; Ryan Nikfarjam, Beverly Vista; Jayden Bulexa, Beverly Vista; Chloe Levine, Horace Mann; Charles Wen, Hawthorne; Eli Okum, Beverly Vista.