Each year, the Center invites high school and community college students to Benedictine University to learn more about the importance of government and public service. Joining the students for discussions on important public issues and other activities are officials from various levels of government, journalists, and other keynote speakers.
In the past few years alone, student-participants in the Youth Government Day have heard from Peter Bergen, Paul Rusesabagina, Washington Post writer Bob Woodward, and Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, to name just a few.
The annual Youth Government event is attended by about 300 area students, and in recent years interactive simulations have become key parts of this event. For example, during the 2011 Youth Government Day, a panel of high school students and BU faculty participated in a mock Senate confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee. And in prior years students and faculty have worked closely with one another on decision making during a cabinet-level anti-terror crisis, and in another simulation the students worked in groups with our Public Service Fellows to manage a personal budget on a limited income.