Bell selected to represent peers on Louisiana Legislative Youth Council

LSU AgCenter News
June 25, 2009 at 11:34 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

James Michael Bell pictured with Senator Joel Chiasson. Bell was selected to serve on the Louisiana Legislative Youth Council Advisory Board.
Courtesy photo
James Michael Bell pictured with Senator Joel Chiasson. Bell was selected to serve on the Louisiana Legislative Youth Council Advisory Board.
Some of Louisiana's most outstanding students were announced as new members of the Louisiana Legislative Youth Advisory Council and will work together over the next year in an effort to influence the legislative process and make the state a better place for young people.

The council is a yearly-appointed body composed entirely of students that addresses issues affecting the youth of Louisiana, which is overseen by the Louisiana Commission on Civic Education.

James Michael Bell, a senior at Hahnville High School in Boutte has been selected to represent his peers and community as a member of this statewide council for the 2009-2010 school year. James is one of two students representing Congressional District 3. In July he will attend the Economics for Leaders Conference at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Members of the council are selected from a wide pool of applicants from around the state who display a strong interest in civic involvement.

Two student members will serve from each of the seven congressional districts (14 members) and seven (7) additional youth members are designated by and represent a school-sponsored or community service club or organization which has a civic mission.

The members must be between the age of fourteen and nineteen and enrolled in a public or private high school or are participating in a home study program or in a BESE-approved GED skills program.

State lawmakers created the Legislative Youth Advisory Council and enacted it into law during the 2007 Regular Session. Now in its second year, its purpose is to facilitate the communication between youth and the legislature and to give students a unique opportunity to be involved in the workings of state government.

The 21-member body will have the opportunity over this next year to study and address issues of importance to young people, including education, employment, health and physical fitness, strategies to increase youth participation in local and state government, safe environments for youth, substance abuse, underage drinking, litter and environmental control, and youth access to state and local services.

“This is an tremendous opportunity for these civic-minded young people from across the state to come together and grow as citizens and future leaders,” said Dale Bayard, Chairman of the Louisiana Commission on Civic Education and a member of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE).

“The work of the Youth Advisory Council during its first year of operation was very successful with students playing a key leadership role in the development of the state's Lighten Up Louisiana-Youth campaign, an effort to promote physical fitness and healthy living among Louisiana youths,” Senator Ben Nevers, chairman of the Senate Education Committee said.”I look forward to working with the new and returning council members for another successful year.”

The 2009-2010 Legislative Youth Advisory Council began its work on Wednesday, June 17th at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge.

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