As students of Illinois Youth and Government, we represent the many regions, cities, and high schools of Illinois; thousands of interests, careers, and backgrounds; and we fight passionately to confront the issues facing our generation on the local, state, and national level. Yet –we, as a diverse, determined, and driven group of young people– share one common mission: bettering ourselves, and bettering the world our children will live in. Perhaps, if there is anything that we have learned from these past few months, it’s that in every challenge facing our nation– pandemics, natural disasters, and racial injustice– young people will not stay silent, will stand for their community and for their country, and will rise to the challenges that face their generation. Youth and Government is not only a program which teaches the principles of public service, but also a family which applies these principles in communities across Illinois. It is an incredible honor to be a part of Youth and Government, which offers not only the opportunity to learn democracy, but to live democracy.