By Ashley Conroy - email
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) -- More than 400 students from 15 different schools around the state learned what's it's like to work at the state capitol.
It's called the Mississippi Youth Legislature and it's an annual conference where students participate in a "mock" legislative session.
As part of the conference on Friday, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker spoke to the entire group of students about leadership.
Sen. Wicker encouraged students to get involved and to vote when they had the chance to do so.
In addition, he commented on the election on Tuesday and said voters showed they wanted a change in Washington.
"Voters, I think on Tuesday decided that we were spending too much and taxing too much and government in Washington D.C. was getting too big.
Sen. Wicker says he is thrilled to see students learn about the legislative process as he too began his politicking in high school.
"My first taste for actually running for office on a statewide basis was at a conference like this," Wicker said.
First time voter and Senior from Bay St. Louis, Kendall McDonale says she was thrilled when she got to vote on Tuesday.
"The voting process goes like that old axiom, we're only as strong as our weakest member. It's really inspiring to have that responsibility," McDonale said.
In addition, Student Governor over the Mississippi Youth Legislature Brent Murphy says he began attending in the 7th grade.
Murphy says aside from learning the political process, the leadership skills he's acquired are irreplaceable.
"The more we're prepared the more knowledgeable we are about the issues the better we'll be able to lead in the future," Murphy said.
The students were divided between the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Just like the regular legislature, each students had a part in the process including Speaker of the House to Lt. Governor.
Students had the chance to go up to the podium and propose their bills. Other students either countered the proposal with questions or proposed an amendment to the bill.
In addition, students posted campaign signs on the walls of the Marriott hotel where the luncheon took place.
The event kicked off on Wednesday and will officially end Saturday. This was the 52nd session of the Mississippi Youth Legislature.
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