continued “I told them that they’re New York’s greatest generation,” Hughes said. “I believe that’s true. I challenged them to live up to it.”
More than 100 bills were proposed by delegates at the conference. About half were adopted, the most in a decade. Many bills dealt with education reform, economic growth and the legalization of casino gambling.
Ticonderoga delegates were successful in getting a bill to ban possession of tobacco by under-age people passed. Ti delegates failed to get a bill on illegal immigration approved.
Ti students also served as lawyers for a man who claimed he was illegally dismissed from his job. They lost the case, but earned praise for their arguments.
“It’s interesting to watch and see the time and effort these kids put into actual issues,” said Palandrani, who stressed there is no adult involvement at the conference. “The kids are motivated and incredibly well prepared.”
Hughes said the state conference is inspiring.
“A lot of adults look at today’s youth as if there’s no hope for the future,” she said. “When you get to Albany and see so many teens come together for a common goal it’s amazing. I feel really good about our future.”
Serving as state governor has been a privilege, Hughes said.
“It’s been fascinating, a wonderful opportunity,” she said. “It’s really opened my eyes to the possibilities that are out there for me and the impact I can have in the future.”
The senior plans to attend college in the fall to study journalism and public policy. She would like to become a political analyst.
“The past year has been such a learning experience,” Hughes said. “I have a lot more respect for all the delegates after seeing how hard they work.”
Hughes attended the Youth & Government governor’s conference in Washington, D.C., last June and represented New York at the national Youth & Government conference last July. She also visited five districts in New York as governor. Although her term as governor is over, Hughes has been invited to the Massachusetts Youth & Government conference in May.
“It’s been a busy year,” Hughes said, “but I’ve loved every bit of it.”