The Black Youth Leadership Project (BYLP) is inviting students currently in 9th-12th grades from across California to participate in its 15th Annual Legislative Open House to be held Friday, March 14 in the state capital.Started in 1999, the Black Youth Leadership Project introduces young people to the legislative process, designed to develop the next generation of public leaders in California.
Youth will gain experience in different aspects of government, including policy development and implementation, public speaking and executive-legislative relations.
Since its beginning, the Legislative Open House has become a highly anticipated event, partly due to the valuable learning that occurs paired with access to the Capitol. Students will be able to participate in mock committee hearings in the Capitol and engage in a mock session on the floor of the State Senate or State Assembly.
The Open House will include a luncheon series, started last year, giving youth a chance to interact with different leaders in the community. Last year, students were able to speak with Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor, former Raiders player Jerrell Harris, and Stockton city councilmember Michael Tubbs, an alumnus of BYLP.
“This is an opportunity for students to be exposed to different people in the community, people involved in areas that they may be interested in pursuing,” said Lorreen Pryor, president of the BYLP since 2009.
Driven by volunteers within the State Capital community, the BYLP has the support of both houses, the Senate desk, Chief Clerk of Assembly E. Dotson Wilson, Secretary of State Debra Bowens, Senate President pro tem Darrell Steinberg, Assemblymembers Roger Dickinson and Mariko Yamada, former Assemblymember Wilmer Amina Carter, and California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.
Students must complete an application in order to participate in the Legislative Open House. Applications are available at www.bylp.org. The deadline to apply is Friday, Feb. 7.