On February 15, Garden Grove Unified School District (GGUSD) and the City of Garden Grove came together to present Youth in Government Day for the first time since 1993. The event saw more than 60 students assume mock government roles, including six students who served as city council members and one student who was chosen as honorary mayor.
“We are grateful to the City of Garden Grove for coordinating this fantastic experience which gives our students a first-hand look at local government,” said Teri Rocco, Board of Education member. “This experience may inspire our next-generation of elected officials.”
More than 150 high school seniors from the district’s seven comprehensive high schools applied for the opportunity to participate and selected their desired department or role in city government. City staff reviewed the applications, and the student candidates for mayor and city council provided two-minute presentations. Students were judged on their preparedness, voice projection, posture, eye contact, articulation, organization of content, and enthusiasm.
Students spent the day visiting their designated department and learned about its role in local government, as well as the positive impact and challenges. Students took the information and developed a presentation for a mock city council meeting where students learned how city council meetings are conducted and how decisions for the city are adopted.
Esmeralda Michel of Santiago, Viet Pham and Steven Nguyen of Bolsa Grande, and Jeanette Vivas of Los Amigos were all chosen for city council. In addition to being chosen as city council members, Pacifica’s Christian Feliciano and Cody Tran, along with La Quinta’s Wendy Ha were chosen by city staff as the final three mayoral candidates.
The finalists were asked to give two-minute presentations to the Youth in Government Day student body just before lunch, which was provided by the city and featured Mayor Steve Jones as the guest speaker. After the votes were counted up, it was revealed that Pacifica’s Cody Tran was elected by hispeers to represent them as mayor.