CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Taylor Fealy, a junior at Buckhannon-Upshur High School in Upshur County, on Wednesday became the latest student representative to join the West Virginia Board of Education.
Fealy, the youth governor of the Youth in Government program, will serve with the board during meetings in September, October and November. She has been active in student government since middle school, including with Hi-Y. She was selected as class president and for the homecoming court as a freshman. As a sophomore she served as class vice president. She also has served as a committee chairwoman with Hi-Y.
Taylor Fealy, a junior at Buckhannon-Upshur High School in Upshur County, is the latest student representative to join the West Virginia Board of Education. She will serve with the board during meetings in September, October and November.
"We welcome Taylor's participation with the state Board of Education," said West Virginia Board President Priscilla Haden. "Student representatives provide a young voice that helps us understand how our decisions affect students and also encourages civic participation."
The state board launched its student representative project in 2007 in an effort to promote civic awareness, garner teen input and give high school students the opportunity to see government in action.
“Regrettably, research shows that only about 30 percent of young people between the ages 18 to 24 consistently vote,” Haden said. “While voting rates increase with age, if young adults are not engaged, there's a danger that their apathy will become ingrained. Programs like this are so important if we are to overcome the statistics and help our young people develop an adequate understanding of how our government works and become well prepared to participate as citizens.”
Although civics courses have long been offered as electives, they are now required by all. Civics also is a component of the state's 21st century learning program, "Global21: Students deserve it. The world demands it." West Virginia is among only a few states that require students to take civics to graduate from high school.
Students wishing to be considered for the board's program must complete an application, obtain parental permission and submit letters of recommendation.
For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.
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