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Dunn Student First in County to Receive Highest Honor for Youth in Government Program

Posted: Monday, September 27, 2004

By: Jennifer DuBois (Expired article)

Los Olivos, CA -

Zoe Carter, a senior at Dunn School in Los Olivos, has a passion for politics. Her political resume both on and off campus has been growing steadily over the last four years.

She was a Student Government Senator, ran for Prefect last year, and wrote her Junior English Research Paper on Youth and Government, a model court and legislative body affiliated with the California YMCA. Zoe is now a 3rd year Youth and Government delegate, having been inspired by her older brother Gabe Carter, a Dunn School alumnus.

In her three years in Youth and Government Zoe has been a Senator, Committee Clerk and a Trial Court prosecuting attorney. She has written a Bill for the legislature and worked on a campaign with 160 people to raise $218,000 for Youth and Government. This year she is running for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the elections for which are November 13. Her chosen slogan is “Get Smarter, Vote for Carter”.

Zoe’s political activism was most notably recognized this year, when she became the first student from Santa Barbara County in the 57 year history of Youth and Government to be chosen as a delegate to the Youth Conference on National Affairs (CONA). Being chosen to go to CONA is the highest honor of the Youth in Government Program, which boasts some 2500 youth members in the state of California. After submitting two recommendations, an essay and her resume, she was chosen out of a pool of 80 delegates to represent the State of California at CONA.

CONA started with a 4 day pre-trip to Atlanta and Chattanooga where delegates, including Zoe, prepared their individual proposals regarding an issue of national or international importance to submit to the legislature. Zoe chose to propose eliminating Daylight Savings Time. They also gave their opening speeches. In their free time they visited Martin Luther King’s tomb and the Coke factory. The delegates then went to Black Mountain, NC, where they joined 450 delegates representing 30+ states. Delegates spent 5 days presenting and debating their respective proposals in up to 3 committees with a view toward submitting them to the General Assembly for debate. Just seven out of 450 proposals made it to General Assembly. While Zoe’s own proposal to eliminate Daylight Savings Time made it through first committee, it did not pass second committee because “it was not debatable enough”, Zoe said.

Zoe did however voice her opinion in other committees on issues such as allowing gay couples to adopt (she is in favor of gay couple adoption), a proposal which passed to the General Assembly. Other proposals that were submitted included: allowing nationalized US citizens to run for President (passed); lifting the international abortion ban in military hospitals (passed); repealing the Patriot Act (passed); and, removing the US from the United Nations (didn’t pass). Zoe noted that the hot topic of debate at CONA was the separation of church and state. She is for separation. Other issues that Zoe is passionate about include the Draft (against), gay marriage (for), the War in Iraq (against) and abortion (she is pro-choice). By participating in such debates at CONA students like Zoe broaden their political and social perspectives.

        Political leaders that Zoe admires include Madeleine Albright, John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, and “not GW”. She believes that in order to be a good political leader one needs to show honesty, respect, listen to others, and be willing to rise to the occasion and make decisions that are best for all. Her advice for other young people in leadership positions is “Stick to what you believe in” and “Don’t let anyone put you down because they disagree with you”.

        Zoe has aspirations to continue her studies and work in politics after graduation. She is hoping to attend California State Monterey to study political science, Cal State Sacramento, to be able to work in the capital, or Georgetown University, to be in the nation’s capital. Ultimately she is interested in politics because she would like to “leave a mark”. In that spirit, at Dunn, she is trying to lay a foundation to integrate the Dunn Student Government with Youth and Government, and she is looking to recruit more delegates from Dunn and the local area to the program.

For more information on Youth and Government go to:

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