Twenty-eight Montgomery Academy Upper School students joined over 300 other high school students from all over the state to participate in the Alabama YMCA Youth in Government's 71st annual Youth Legislature conference the weekend of February 22-24.
Abby Baird, William Dillon, Tristan Dumas, Ellie Kim, Anna Perry and Ellie Stevens were all in the first year chamber. Wilson Butler, Margaret Chandler, Brystol Habermacher, Mary Virginia Huffaker, Maggie Kinney, Brabee Pirnie, Alisha Singh, Easton Strickler and Laurie Wakefield were in the House chamber. Hannah Hale was the Speaker of the House. Tristan Dumas was an Outstanding Statesman in the First Year Chamber.
Sofie Behr, Caroline Deale, Martha Ernest, Ellie Gilmore, Will Hamlett, Roma Pirnie, William Robertson and James Torbert were in the Senate. Sofie Behr and James Torbert served on the Governor's Cabinet. Caroline Deale was the Senate Chaplain. Roma Pirnie was the Senate reading clerk and Elizabeth Waldo was the Senate Secretary. Will Hamlett was the Director of Legislative Affairs. William Robertson was the Senate Pro Tempore. Carter Chandler served as Lieutenant Governor.
Cyprian Dumas served as Attorney General and Wilson Butler was assistant AG. Carson Roth was media staff for the weekend, and provided photos and video for newsletters, blog posts, and Twitter and Snapchat updates throughout the weekend.
Sofie Behr's bill, The Incarceration Reduction Act, was passed in the Senate and the House and signed into law by the Youth Governor.
The 24 best and most statesman-like debaters in chambers are selected to attend the annual Conference on National Affairs in the summer. Six MA students were selected to attend CONA this year, including Sofie Behr, Carter Chandler, Hannah Hale, Will Hamlett, William Robertson, and James Torbert. Margaret Chandler and Martha Ernest were selected as CONA alternates.
All of MA's gradating senior ALYIG participants with two years or more of experience in the program were awarded honor cords. Outgoing senior Youth Leg participants were Carter Chandler, Caroline Deale, Hannah Hale, Will Hamlett, Carson Roth, James Torbert and Elizabeth Waldo.
Will Hamlett also received the Bill Berringer scholarship, which has been given every year since 1987. The award is selected by AYLIG college staffers and "goes to a college-bound senior with a minimum three-year involvement in the Youth Legislature program, who exhibits exemplary Christian character, extensive behind the scenes work regardless of recognition, great dedication to the program, an attitude of encouragement and enthusiasm and who has gained respect of peers and adults." Hamlett, like many of his peers, began participating in ALYIG activities as a middle schooler, and has served as a judge at Youth Judicial, as an appellate court justice, and on Alabama's first appellate court team (with Sofie Behr, last summer) to participate in the National Judicial Conference. His leadership in the program on all levels was noted at the close of the 71st annual Youth Legislature conference.