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Sun Gazette: ‘Model General Assembly’ participants gearing up for 2016 Print

Created:  Thursday, November 26, 2015  8:00AM


Arlington students set to take part in the 2016 Model General Assembly will have their proposed bills vetted during a pre-session program Dec. 11 at George Mason University's Arlington campus.

The 57 students – from the Arlington Career Center, Yorktown and Wakefield high schools and the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program – will present their draft legislation to state Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31st), Del. Patrick Hope (D-47th), Commonwealth's Attorney Theo Stamos and Todd Yeatts, manager of government relations for Boeing and the incoming chairman of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce.

The students are preparing 20 bills for submission in the Model General Assembly, which will convene in April. The program is supported at the local level by the Arlington YMCA.

Salome Gongadze, a senior at H-B Woodlawn, was elected to serve as governor during the 2016 Model General Assembly.

Each year, approximately 450 students from across Virginia travel to Richmond for the three-day session, serving as elected officials, lobbyists and media. Statewide, more than 50,000 Virginia students have participated since the program began in 1948.

Arlington began taking part in Virginia's Model General Assembly in 2009, when six students from the Arlington Career Center traveled to Richmond to take part. Through 2015, a total of 126 Arlington students have taken part.