By Monse Muniz

Welcome to the 2020 KYA HS 4!

Last night, December 6th, everyone kicked things off by watching the Pre-conference KYA orientation. There were many meetings in the afternoon for cabinet and lobbyists, bill sponsors, candidates, media corps, chairs, and supreme court members. After that, there was the opportunity to meet our bluegrass and commonwealth candidates.

Today we all came together to watch the opening session held at 9 am and many memorable moments. Governor Jacob Grant opened up by mentioning Taylor Swift and the impact of her lyrics to his life and KYA. He compared her lyric “chasing shadows in the grocery line ”to his frustration of feeling like his advocacy was not doing enough. He delivered hard-hitting truths of the many struggles that our commonwealth has to overcome. He continued by explaining that there was not being enough done in Kentucky to fight human trafficking and cited the warnings that the Kentucky Derby has had to post try to stop it. Then, he moved on to demand more for the economically disadvantaged, especially in rural areas, and called on politicians in Kentucky to be more responsible for these areas. Governor Grant reminded HS 4 that Kentucky has had a rough history of racial relations and mentioned the death of Breonna Taylor and David McAtee to memorialize their names. He brought up the no-knock warrant that was banned in Louisville after the Black Lives Matter Movement advocated for its removal. Moreover, Governor Grant mentioned that despite the diminishing bright outlook of the future, we are still united. He continued by stating that “we are united by the inexplicable desire to promote change within our state.” He reminded us that our voices are not gone unheard as we continue in this conference and went back to the Taylor Swift quote that we are, in fact, “not chasing shadows.” Finally, he promoted us to hold discussions to fix the problems within Kentucky and encouraged us to speak out.

Our Secretary of State Callie Aitken introduced the candidates for presiding office. In the Bluegrass, we have Cross Dutton. In the Commonwealth, we have Cal Wagers, Clint Chambliss, Jalen Wellman, Josh Groves, Kate Wetherton, Kennedi Fishback, Kyi’Ree Spencer, Oni Terrado, and Stephanie Casson. Secretary of State Aitken reminded our high school advisors that the Georgia Davis Powers Award is given to high schools with high numbers of eligible seniors registered to vote. She advocated for members to pledge to vote/register to vote (if over 18) at https://www.inspire2vote.org/register. She continued by letting us know that if we wanted to hold a voter registration drive that we should email rianna@kyymca.org. Following the opening session, delegates were released to their respective committees and specialized meetings.

And with that, KYA HS 4 has officially begun. Media Corp is delighted to cover this year’s KYA and we remind you to check the @kyymcamedia Instagram account. Here is a link to all the platforms that we are on: https://linktr.ee/kyymcamedia.