Student of The Week

  • Gabe Beckford, Class of 2018

  • CHS experience: YAG

    I'm going to write about my time in Youth and Government (YAG). I never thought that this club that my friends pushed me to join would have such an impact on my high school career and life.

    Like I said, I joined YAG not even completely on my own accord, half influenced by my friends and half influenced by Sorrentino's calls to "get involved." Anyway, I tried out and I made it into the club. Soon enough, I found it to be way more than just a club. YAG is an experience, from the overly professional ways in which we talk, to the jokes we make about obscure debating terms, to the mutual boredom we sometimes all go through over the course of the YAG season. I fell in love with it. The program opened up my eyes to so many relevant (and some irrelevant, "should taylor ham be the NJ state food"-esque) issues, which has put me on the path to pursuing a major in both political science and economics once I get to college. But along with YAG being a political and debate club, it's a place where a certain bond is created. For months, we all deliberate on our topics for legislation, peer edit, debate, argue, shoot each other down, and then get bored at the Pre-legislative session, and then have a blast at conference over a weekend in Trenton. YAG becomes a sort of lifestyle, a shared experience that only YAG members can truly relate to and that bond between us is one of the strongest ones I've ever had in my life.

    Last year, I decided to step up my involvement in the program and ran to become the Cranford Delegation's President. I won and had the pleasure of working with our new advisors Mrs. Charles and Mr. Hoglund for the 2016-2017 YAG season. At conference, I mustered up the courage to run against 13 other delegates to become the Cleveland Senate Clerk. I spent an entire night writing a speech that I hoped would be effective and genuine. Whatever I did, it worked and I will be serving as the Cleveland Senate Clerk for the 2017-2018 YAG Season with my friend Kevin Schwartz, the Cleveland Senate President.

    Whether you're a freshman or a rising senior, give YAG a try next year, you might just find something you never thought you'd find in some quirky debate and politics club. I know I did. Check out (most) of our delegation below