Manti Youth Council visits state
capitol, sees government up close
By Linda Petersen
Feb. 8, 2018
SALT LAKE CITY—As members of the Manti Youth City Council, 13 local youth got to rub shoulders recently with some of the state legislators and other movers and shakers on Capitol Hill in Salt Lake City.
On Jan. 24, Local Officials Day, youth councils from across the state spent the day learning more about the legislative process.
The Manti youth participated in a mock legislative committee meeting where members of the Brigham City Youth City Council acted as the various players in a scenario that featured a bill regarding sexual harassment and bullying prevention and prosecution.
Manti youth had the opportunity to participate in the general discussion.
They were surprised to discover the discussion was focused on the particular bill before the committee, rather than on the broader issue of sexual harassment itself, adviser Denise Hagemeister said.
“The kids kept wanting to discuss what sexual harassment was, not the bill,” Hagemeister said. “It was good for them to see that with some issues, instead of open-ended discussion about the subject, it’s more about the details of the bill before the committee, in this case about giving schools more power to enforce zero-tolerance policies.”
She added, “I was proud of the kids. When they spoke, they were articulate and relevant, which wasn’t the case with all youth councils. Sanpete County was well-represented.”
While at the Capitol, the Manti youth briefly met and shook hands with Sanpete County Rep. Derrin R. Owens (R-Utah) of Fountain Green.
During a luncheon at the Salt Palace, they heard from Gov. Gary Herbert, along with keynote speaker presidential historian Mark Updegrove who has chronicled all the presidents from Gerald Ford to George W. Bush. Updegrove shared leadership qualities from all those presidents and challenged the youth to develop their own potential.
“He asked us how we want to be remembered and how we would want someone to describe us in one sentence after we die,” Manti Youth Mayor Cari Carmody said. “It really made me realize everything you do impacts who you are and how others see you.”
While at the legislature, the youth council also enjoyed a guided tour of the Capitol. Cari was particularly struck by the columns in the basement that hold up the entire building, she said.
This is the second year Cari, who is a junior at Manti High School, has been a member of the youth council. She said she really enjoys her role as youth mayor, a position she has held since last September.
“It’s fun being able to figure out what projects we’re going to do and to help everybody with that,” she said.
Hagemeister has been the youth council’s adviser for the past five years.
“I truly am a mentor for them; I don’t do anything for them,” Hagemeister said. “I leave it all up to the youth council to get things done.”
Currently, the youth council is putting together a fun run in the spring, along with sponsoring a community talent show where proceeds will be donated to the Children’s Justice Center in Ephraim.