High school students at Youth Government Day programs over the years have interacted with key elected officials, judges, political staff members and others who play key roles in public policy.
Recent speakers have included:
- -Justin Nickels of Manitowoc, WI.
- He is the nation’s youngest full-time elected mayor and first ran for city council as a high school senior.
- He later was elected city council president before successfully running for mayor at age 24.
- -Jehan Gordon of Peoria, IL.
- She was first elected to the Illinois House of Representatives at age 27.
- Now in her second term, Jehan has learned the ropes of the legislature and is distinguishing herself as a committed representative for her district.
Past speakers have included both established and up-and-coming leaders, such as:
- Jim Edgar (R), who appeared soon after retiring as Governor of Illinois
- Jim Ryan (R), who spoke as the sitting Illinois Attorney General
- Dick Durbin (D), U.S. Senator from Illinois
- Lisa Madigan (D), who appeared as both an Illinois State Senator and later as Illinois Attorney General
- Clarence Harmon (D), who appeared as the former Mayor of St. Louis.
- Alexi Giannoulias (D), Illinois State Treasurer
- Aaron Schock (R), who joined us as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives serving the Peoria area and who has since been elected to the U.S. Congress
- Sheila Simon (D), who has since been elected Illinois Lt. Governor
- Pat Quinn (D), Governor of Illinois
- Barack Obama, who appeared as an Illinois State Senator and was later elected U.S. Senator from Illinois and then President of the United States
- Phil Gillbert, U.S. Federal Judge, Southern Illinois District