Thirty-seven Harrison County High School students served with local elected officials in county and city government during its annual Youth Day on Oct. 1.
In preparation for Youth Day, HCHS students sought election to local public service offices, and engaged in a spirited campaign, seeking votes from fellow students. The election process was followed by a school-wide vote and high school voter registration drive, where approximately 100 high school students registered to vote.
Sponsored by the Cynthiana Lions Club, students had an opportunity to shadow agencies such as district, circuit, and family court judge, county and commonwealth attorney, county magistrate and city commission, as well as other service agencies such as police, fire, sheriff, jailer, and coroner. Students spent the morning with the individual officers throughout the county, retiring to a luncheon and guest speaker at the Cynthiana Country Club, and concluded the day with meetings and discussions in the Commissioner’s room downtown at City Hall.
The guest speaker for the luncheon was Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Michelle Kellar.
For participating students, the day was filled with nervous excitement.
“I loved it and I realize just how much mental and physical agility it takes to do this job,” said HCHS Senior Jayden Kline regarding her Youth Day experience with officers of the Cynthiana Fire Department.
Jayden’s group spent a portion of the morning learning the skills of local firefighters and paramedics.
“These guys really go out of their way to meet the needs of Cynthiana/Harrison County citizens.”
Other student groups were out in the community learning the skills of public office.
HCHS Senior Matt Robinson spent the morning in Circuit Court with local Commonwealth’s Attorneys Doug Miller and Michael Laws.
“This is such a great experience. I’ve learned so much in just a few short hours and have witnessed a variety of cases. Mr. Miller has been so accommodating to me, and I can’t wait to begin down the same law-related path.”
Similarly, HCHS senior Jesse Swinford noted his “awesome hands-on experience handling city commissioner business with Jack Keith. I am struck by the demands placed on the commissioners and a workload involving things I had not even considered. It was pretty special.”
Faculty sponsor, Josh Powers, commented on the value of Youth Day in Harrison County, wishing to express his tremendous gratitude to the public officials of the community and to the Lions Club for their partnership with so many young students.
“Youth Day is so unique; one of the great and long-standing traditions of our community, dating back over 60 years. It is the only program of its kind. Planning for this program begins early each year, and I field many phone calls from local leaders anxious to host student-shadows,” said Powers. “This program has impacted so many, and these public officials are so gracious to follow-up with college recommendation letters, employment assistance, and the like. It is a wonderful institution; a blessing to our children and community and HCHS simply could not participate in this program without the allegiance and sponsorship of our friends at Lions.”