Leaders of tomorrow test out city government

Published 11:16 pm Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Selma City Councilwoman Bennie Ruth Crenshaw goes over essays with students during the annual Youth-In Government Day at Selma City Hall. -- Robert Hudson

High school students from around Dallas County gathered at Selma City Hall Friday to get a closer look at city government, as they prepare to become leaders of tomorrow.

Students gathered at the city council chambers on Friday for Youth-In Government Day.

Selma City Ward 7 Councilwoman Bennie Ruth Crenshaw, who organized the program for eight years, said Youth-In Government Day is aimed at showing children how government works, so they can see some of the career paths available to them.

Email newsletter signup

“They also come in and learn about careers that they possibly want to embark upon because they get the opportunity to talk to these individuals in city hall and learn the functions of their jobs and being able to do them,” Crenshaw said. “And we’ve had kids to come out of city hall who want to be city clerks and city attorneys and city financers because they got in there, they worked with that person and they learned how their job functions. So I think the function of Youth-In Government Day is to give our children some insight, which is very important in terms of how they plan to run their city and what the city can offer them in terms of careers.”

LaShunda Geeter, a senior at Southside High School who participated in Youth-In Government Day, said she enjoyed the day, and it was a great opportunity.

“I enjoyed today. It was a good opportunity for the youth to see what goes on in our city council and in our city hall, period,” Geeter said. “I actually learned that there’s a lot that goes on in a day with the decisions that are made for our city and by certain people. It’s a great opportunity and I appreciate all the people allowing us to come in and just see what goes on daily in city hall.”

Jamal Gilmer, a sophomore from Selma High School said he learned a lot about what makes the city work.

“We just learned a lot about how the city actually operates,” Gilmer said. “It’s good to learn about the place that you live in, about the government, the history and the many things that go on throughout the day.”

Grace Burns, Dallas County sophomore, said she got to talk to a few of the different departments in city hall, and it was very interesting to see what makes Selma run.

“We’ve gone to different departments like building development and the clerk’s office … and as I’m listening to what these people are telling me, I’m realizing that they do so much just to make what looks like it’s going on smoothly, go as smoothly as it looks,” Burns said. “I think it’s really good to come up here and learn about what they do. It’s really opened my eyes to see it’s a lot of hard work that goes behind what happens in Selma.”

Meadowview Christian School junior Hope Redd said she learned things that will help her as she transitions to the real world.

“Today was very much a learning experience for me,” Redd said. “I’m in the 11th grade and I graduate next year, and there is a life outside of high school that I am very inexperienced in. So, coming here today, I learned several things and just learned things about life that I didn’t know and things I need to know to go to college and be successful. So I really enjoyed today and I learned a lot.”