A group of students were recently chosen from four local high schools to participate in Youth in Government Day where they learned about development process, code compliance, the city’s funding and more.
On Feb. 16, the City of Hesperia hosted the educational event for the 11th year, giving students a taste of the inner workings of local government.
“I think it’s a very valuable program to highlight important work done by local government,” city spokeswoman Rachel Molina said.
The day began at 8 a.m. where students toured City Hall and began learning about the meeting process to help prepare them for their own mock City Council meeting.
The students then proceeded with four different hour-long presentations throughout the day. Public safety services was the first topic presented by Ron Walls with the San Bernardino County Fire Department and San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Hesperia Station Captain Gregg Wielenga.
After Molina educated the students on community relations, Director of Development Services Mike Blay and Code Enforcement Supervisor Theresa Mauger stepped in to explain code compliance.
The last two presentations detailed the development process within the city and the factors of public works.
The students then had lunch with city staff and elected officials. During lunch, Human Resource Manager Rita Perez presented “We Need You!”, explaining the various volunteer opportunities in Hesperia. Mayor Paul Russ concluded lunch with a Q&A presentation.
“Getting an insight on how our city's government is ran sent us home with vital information,” Hesperia High School senior Samantha Montufar said.
Once it came time for the mock City Council meeting, each of the students gave their input on funding two projects that will later be implemented into the community.
The group of 23 students were composed of high school seniors from Hesperia High School, Oak Hills High School, Sultana High School and Shadow Ridge High School. Each of the students in the program were selected by their career guidance counselors.
“Youth in Government 2017 was a profound experience I am glad my Scorpion family and I were able to partake in,” Montufar said. “I believe we carried ourselves well and left a humbling impression in City Hall.”
Hesperia Youth in Government takes place every year and is coordinated by City Clerk Melinda Sayre.