While some of us may have been occupied on that one horrendous MI4 problem set, two IMSA students had the opportunity to give testimony before the Senate and House of Representatives! You may have heard about it briefly, but what exactly went down behind the scenes?
On March 22, 2023, Yina Wang (’23) and Raven McKelvin (’24) were provided the opportunity to testify before the Senate and House of Representatives at the State Capitol in Springfield about IMSA. They spoke with the Senate appropriations committee hearing, which is a hearing where the committee plans how to allocate funds across different programs and agencies, like IMSA.
According to Yina Wang, “We [Yina Wang, Raven McKelvin] essentially talked about our favorite parts of IMSA in an effort to secure increased funding for IMSA in the future.” The legislative branch of Illinois got a chance to hear about IMSA from the students’ perspective, which is why this meeting was so critical for our school. This hearing may or may not determine the fate of IMSA’s state funding for the years to come. “People want to visit IMSA to see the campus that we all live on! That can help alter their descriptions pertaining to IMSA,” adds Raven McKelvin.
Yina and Raven were given a 90-second timeframe to speak, during which they were questioned about various aspects of IMSA, including mental health, building structures, and the specifics of how our school functions. According to Yina Wang, the discussion could potentially lead to some crucial decisions for IMSA. Raven also noted that the hearing was a positive and productive experience.
Yina and Raven had the chance to speak with Senator Meg Loughran Cappel as well as others in the House of Representatives. When reflecting upon their experiences, both students expressed that it was remarkable. Yina shared,“It was an awesome opportunity, and I did enjoy touring the Capitol building and learning a little more about how the behind-the-scenes legislation works!” Meanwhile, Raven remarked, “This was an experience I will never forget! I enjoyed it. I aspire to be a lawyer, so the exposure overall was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I won’t forget!”
Yina and Raven’s testimony is a significant milestone for IMSA, helping make the case for the Academy’s value now and in the future.