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The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Meet Maryland’s Youth Governor

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  • Senior Samantha Mouyard holds up a trinket from YAG that reads “Governer!” As the Youth Governor of Maryland, Mouyard has gained a unique perspective.

  • Pieces of Mouyard’s campaign to become Youth Governer. Mouyard and her team designed a number of pins to pass out throughout her campaign.

    Courtesy Samantha Mouyard
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Inside the Maryland State House in Annapolis, 200 teen legislators gather for the annual Maryland YMCA Youth & Government (YAG) Model Assembly. As the crowd settles down, a bill is put forward to the floor. One new sophomore lobbyist with streaks of neon color in her hair steps up to speak to the governing body. For a few minutes, youth executives, legislators and lobbyists alike sit in the seats of Maryland’s adult government and listen. She finishes speaking, and the bill is put to vote. It passes the House, then the Senate. In a shocking turn of events, it is vetoed by the youth governor, and then overturned by the legislature. The young lobbyist is successful, proud and showered with compliments.

Two years later, that lobbyist is now a senior and Maryland’s Youth Governor. Anything is possible for Samantha Mouyard.

As a sophomore, Mouyard joined the WJ delegation of YAG upon pressure from a friend and became a lobbyist. After her speech that year to the Maryland Model Assembly, Mouyard put her name in the running for Head Lobbyist at WJ and won the position. With new responsibilities as head lobbyist in her junior year, Mouyard dove further and further into the program, stepping up her commitment.

“I started to really enjoy YAG,” Mouyard said. “YAG became my favorite pastime and I wanted to spend more time doing it.”

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At the beginning of her year as Head Lobbyist, Mouyard attended the annual leadership retreat at a YMCA camp as part of the WJ delegation. Despite being the Head Lobbyist of just her own delegation, the retreat motivated Mouyard to continue her hard work and push her ambitions further.

“I went to [the retreat] and I had so many ideas, a lot of which wouldn’t have been able to be applied that year. That convinced me to run for Youth Governor [for senior year] because I had so much I wanted to do,” Mouyard said.

In her position as Youth Governor, Mouyard is preparing for the Model Assembly as well as building her executive platform with Lieutenant Governor The Catholic High School of Baltimore senior Grace Kamau and Secretary of State Clarksburg senior Charlotte Kingsley. In the executive platform, Mouyard, Kamau and Kingsley “highlight key issues” for delegates to draft bills around.

Pieces of Mouyard’s campaign to become Youth Governer. Mouyard and her team designed a number of pins to pass out throughout her campaign. (Courtesy Samantha Mouyard)

One of Mouyard’s biggest projects this year is expanding Maryland YAG out from the Montgomery County and Baltimore city areas. In the past years, the organization has received grant money and donations looking to expand civic engagement programs and offer opportunities to more students of differing socioeconomic status. So far, the executive team’s focus has been on the Eastern Shore, though expanding to the Western Panhandle is another goal.

Mouyard also enjoys the more personal side of being Youth Governor.

“It’s a big part of my focus as governor, focusing on how delegates are feeling and making sure they are enjoying their time and feeling productive and motivated. [I want them to] feel like they are taking advantage of the space and connecting with other people,” Mouyard said.

This side of Mouyard’s governorship shows through at YAG events, according to WJ delegation members. WJ YAG president senior Sofia Ugarte attended this year’s leadership retreat, which Mouyard led.

“At the leadership retreat, you could tell she really cared about everything that was going on, both the YAG stuff and the people around her,” Ugarte said. “She’s very passionate and she’s very invested.”

Outside of her passions in YAG, Mouyard has a variety of hobbies, including being a part of ASL Club, Tea Club, embroidering and enjoying Formula One racing. However, her most prominent hobby is music. Mouyard plays trombone in WJ’s Pep Band (of which she is a co-captain), Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band.

Pep Band members respect Mouyard and her efforts as one of the group’s captains this year.

“She truly listens when you talk to her about anything, and throughout this entire year she has been making an extreme effort to cultivate the pep band’s already substantial sense of community,” co-captain senior Charles Brenner said.

At one point in the season when a Pep Band member’s birthday lined up with rehearsal, Mouyard even organized a mini birthday celebration for the member.

“[Mouyard] is a passionately caring friend and leader,” Brenner said.

Looking to the future beyond high school, Mouyard does not yet know where she will attend college but has hopes of studying something in the area of public policy and political science.

“I want to connect with people and make things better for them,” Mouyard said.

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Ely Snow
Ely Snow, Online Editor-in-Chief
Senior Ely Snow is an Online Editor-in-Chief and looking forward to working on The Pitch this year. In his free time, he likes to play ultimate and guitar.
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