Nurturing the leaders of tomorrow is the primary goal of 4-H clubs, and this past February a group of local 4-H members got a chance to see some of New Mexico’s current leaders in action during Youth Day at the state legislature.
“It was a fun trip,” said Zach Lance, a 17-year-old Cleveland High senior, and member of the Rio Grande Rebels 4-H Club. “Both houses were in session at the time we went. We got see a couple of bills being debated in the House, and the Senate was having confirmation hearing on the secretary of education. When you see that in person, the way government operates in no longer an abstract idea. You get a better understanding of your place as a citizen.”
Danielle Lance, Zach’s sister and a junior at Cleveland, was intrigued by things going on both inside and outside the Roundhouse, as the state capital is commonly called. On the outside, she was fascinated by the groups assembled to voice their concerns on various issues, which on this day included teachers and others expressing their view on state education policies. Inside, Danielle, like her brother, was impressed with the legislative process, but she also was captivated by the art hanging from the walls, including the pictures of past legislators that provided a glimpse into New Mexico’s history.
The capitol’s unique circular architecture—which is the source of the nick mane Roundhouse—also was interesting to the 4-H members, who included 13-year-old Ellyn Kurowski, who attends Mountain View Middle School, and is a member of Rio Rangers 4-H club.
In total, more than 30 local 4-H members made the trip to Santa Fe, accompanied by the group of parents and 4H leaders, Nicole Lujan and Steve Lucero from the Sandoval County Cooperative Extension Service.
And while the activity at the Capitol was interested, the 4-H members were unanimous in their sentiments on the best parts of the trip—the ride on the New Mexico Rail Runner and lunch at the Burrito Company.