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Youths invited to mock congress

Snoqualmie Valley high school students have the opportunity to

participate in the Eighth Congressional District Mock Congress hosted

by Rep. Jennifer Dunn.

At the two-day conference students will "become" members of

the United States Congress and learn how to research, write and debate bills

with about 200 of their peers.

"This is something that looks good in a college application and if

you're interested in government it's a good start," said Pierce Scranton, an

assistant to Congresswoman Dunn.

The fifth annual mock congress will be held on March 4 and 18

at Hazen High in Renton. Approximately seven students from each school in

the eighth district will be selected to participate in the free event.

"I will fill out an application because it's fun to see how it is and

to broaden my perspective," said Cedarcrest High student

Samantha Ritter.

On the first day, delegates will elect a speaker of the house and

members will form committees and generate bill ideas.

Then the students will be given several weeks to meet with other

delegates in their area to finalize the details of the bills that will be

presented at the mock congress. On the final Saturday, students will put their

hard work to the test and present the proposed bills to the entire delegation

and Rep. Dunn.

"Mock congress is your opportunity to have your say and

Jennifer Dunn will take it back to Washington, D.C.," Scranton said.

There are other opportunities for youths to get an up-close look at

the government process, as well.

Dunn sponsors a Youth Advisory Council for students ages 15 to 20.

The council meets monthly to discuss key national issues and guest

speakers are invited to contribute their thoughts. Past guests included a

judge, a secret service agent and an ambassador.

High school juniors are also eligible to serve as pages in the

U.S. House of Representatives. Applicants must be at least 16 years old and

have a cumulative GPA of "B" or better

in all major courses. The pages run messages between the various

buildings of Capitol Hill.

For more information about these programs or to request an

application, call (206) 275-3438.

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