By John Heinis/Hudson County View
â€œThe Young Legislators Academy will give high school students the opportunity to become acquainted with our stateâ€™s legislative process, serve their local communities through community service and become well-informed citizens and advocates for their communities,â€ McKnight said in a statement.
â€œWe often donâ€™t give our young people enough credit, but I believe that if we provide them with the opportunity, they will rise to the occasion. If we want an informed citizenry, we have to teach them young.”
The program is free and open to high school juniors and senior who attend high school in the 31st legislative district, and have at least a 2.5 grade point average, she added.
According to McKnight, there are 20 slots available for the program, which will run from March 26 through December 26. Applications may be picked up at McKnightâ€™s district office, 2324 John F. Kennedy Blvd., in Jersey City. Applications must be submitted by March 15.
The Young Legislators Academy will provide legislative education, etiquette lessons, life skills and community service opportunities.
Furthermore, students who participate in the academy will learn about the process by which proposed bills become laws, discuss possible ideas for legislation and learn how to draft, submit and advocate for bills.
Participants will also attend local events hosted by McKnightâ€™s district office, as well as empowerment workshops and seminars, to teach self-empowerment and the importance of community building.
Participants who complete the program will hold mock committee meetings and a voting session at the State House in Trenton.
For more information, contact program coordinator Casey Jones at caseyLD31@gmail.com.
Last month, McKnight launched the #Highlight31 campaign to honor residents and businesses in her district.