Colonie Central High School students, part of the Town of Colonie Youth Advisory Board, traveled to the New York State Capitol in Albany for a legislative lobbying day. The youth board included students from two neighboring districts, Shaker and Christian Brothers Academy.
The group met with Senator Ashby on the Great Western Staircase to discuss issues the students felt passionate about. Students from each school asked Senator Ashby what he thinks should be done about increasingly critical issues like drug abuse, illegal selling of vapes, mental health and support for veterans. After listening to the senator, students shared their personal stories with him about how they or someone they know has been affected by these issues.
“It was really meaningful to share my experiences with Senator Ashby,” said junior Emma Lupe. “Being able to talk with someone who has a hand in running our state was incredible. I hope we can continue to make a difference.”
After their meeting with Senator Ashby the students went on a guided tour of the capitol. They were able to visit the senate chambers and were even allowed on to the assembly floor where they were greeted by Sergeant-at-arms Wayne Jackson. He spent time talking to the students and discussed his roles and responsibilities. The students learned about the bill writing process and how each assembly person casts their vote.
“This is such a great experience for our students because it gives them an opportunity to be involved in their community at an early age,” said associate principal Brian Scalzo. “It also allows them a chance to articulate their opinions on topics that matter to them which is an important skill for them to learn.”