Students will get a peek at the democratic process during a candidate debate in August.
The Primary Election Town Hall, an InMaricopa.com event, will host candidates vying for local, state and federal positions.
Teens from around Maricopa will volunteer there with various organizations, the leaders of which hope the students will learn real-world skills like representation, proper debate and public interaction.
“The kids who will show up to an event like this will be engaged kids who are serious and polite who want to be involved and know their issues,” said Priscilla Behnke, program youth director for Be Awesome Youth Coalition.
Up to eight teens will represent the group during the town hall, including students from Maricopa High School and Sequoia Pathway Academy.
It’s Behnke’s view that those who learn to get involved with the community early earn personal benefits like confidence later in life.
“You can’t just wish it, you have to go out there and shake hands and go to the meetings,” Behnke said. “You can be an influencer if you want to.”
BAYC participants attend various events in Maricopa every year. Behnke said she stresses to teens the importance of customer service, honesty and advocacy when her group makes public appearances.
She hopes students will observe the way candidates present themselves and how knowledgeable their responses are.
Behnke also preaches to teens the importance of finding their voices through community engagement, an act she hopes will lead them to “advocate for themselves and for their causes.”
Other student groups and clubs at Maricopa High School are volunteering at the event in various capacities, from student ambassadors to greeters and photographers.
Student Council, Air Force Junior ROTC and other campus organizations of future leaders will be both up front and behind the scenes.
The debate begins 10 a.m. on Aug. 4 at Maricopa High School. Click here to learn more.