Iowa Youth Symposium

Major world topics are addressed all around the world every day. Seven Xavier students gathered on October 24 at the Iowa State Capitol for an event called Iowa Youth Symposium. This conference is held annually to provide high school students with an environment to discuss and solve international political issues.

“It was an interesting experience that gave us some insight into American politics through the lease of the United Nations,” junior Emma Reasner said. “It is unlike the large conference in the spring where everyone represents a different country, but at the Iowa Youth Symposium everyone is representing the United States.”

Reasner said  it was a great chance to meet other high schoolers who want to make a difference and then come up with ways to fix some of the world’s problems.

Xavier students pose in the Iowa State Capitol at the Iowa Youth Symposium on October 24. Mr. Matthew Farrell Photo.

Over 100 students gathered for this two-day conference, however, each region is allowed to send only one delegate the first day. The head delegates met on the first day to begin planning for the second day of the conference. The second day everyone met in the State Capitol where they listened to the keynote speaker, Nancy Flowers, who is a celebrated human rights activist. After the speech, the students broke out into their different committees to discuss issues within the United Nations. At the end of the day, the students voted on the amendments discussed and tried to pass the resolution.

This event has been held in previous years, although it is Xavier’s first year attending. Xavier social studies teacher Mr. Matthew Farrell organized the event and chose students based on their participation in Model UN, a bigger conference that is similar to Iowa Youth Symposium.

“I really liked it because I felt like I was making a difference and that our opinion was making a difference in the world,” Farrell said. “We discussed important issues that high schoolers are not always aware of.”

Xavier plans on attending again next fall to discuss more issues addressed in the United Nations.