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Gov. McCroryGovernor Pat McCrory’s Youth Advocacy & Involvement Office recognized more than a dozen student leaders for their outstanding service during the 46th annual Youth Legislative Assembly (YLA), which was held April 1-3 in Raleigh.

“We are focused on supporting North Carolina’s next generation of future leaders,” said Governor McCrory. “Our state’s high school students are the best in the country, particularly when it comes to civic leadership and public service. I am proud of each and every one of these student leaders.”

The Outstanding Service Award, which recognizes students who have dedicated a minimum of three years of service on the leadership teams of the Youth Legislative Assembly and the State Youth Council, went to:

  • Xavier Milton of Raleigh, a senior at Athens Drive High School
  • Justin Lundy of Garner, a senior at Millbrook High School

The Outstanding Delegate Award, which is given to the delegate from each YLA committee who contributed the most to discussions during the Assembly, went to:

  • Christian Ray of Charlotte, Norwich Academy Homeschool (Business and Commerce Committee)
  • Essence Lewis of Elizabethtown, East Bladen High School (Children & Family Committee)
  • Madison Blagrove of Garner, Southeast Raleigh High School (Civil Rights Committee)
  • Patrick Archer of La Grange, North Duplin Junior-Senior High School (Education Committee)
  • Emily Guyton of Wilson, Homeschool (Environment Committee)
  • Monte Simmons of Lenoir, Hibriten High School (Health Affairs Committee)
  • Shelby Benfield of Lenoir, Hibriten High School (Human Sexuality Committee)
  • Dustin Humphries of Timberlake, Roxboro Community High School (Judiciary Committee)
  • Matt Fleming of Hickory, Fred T. Foard High School (Science and Technology Committee)
  • Joli Pizzo of Raleigh, Longleaf School of the Arts (Substance Abuse Committee)
  • Annabelle Webb of Henderson, Northern Vance High School (Youth Affairs Committee) 

The Youth Legislative Assembly teaches high school students about the laws governing North Carolina’s citizens as well as the lawmaking process. Students draft, debate and vote on mock legislative bills while developing skills in research, interviewing, group facilitation and policy writing. As the bills are debated, the students practice communicating their ideas, opinions and experiences in a team-building environment. At the conclusion of the three-day program, the participants have a better understanding of the lawmaking process as well as enhanced written and oral communication skills. 

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