PHOENIX — Coming from every county in Arizona, high school students are dedicated to helping lawmakers understand the challenges students face inside Arizona classrooms.
They're members of the Governor's Office of Youth, Faith, and Family.
Among the various topics they tackle are the effects of COVID-19 on themselves and their peers.
Youth Commission vice president, Katelyn Cai, describes what it has been for students when classes turned online, "the overwhelming sense was just that all our classmates were struggling, even if they didn't look like they were struggling, and it was because we were all online and alone."
She says many students quickly realized that school is more than a place to learn, it's a place to connect to friends and teachers.
Staying motivated was another issue for students trying to learn from home says Youth Commission president, Delaney Dickey.
"It's hard to want to do the challenging, the daunting schoolwork. More than that, the isolation, students are used to being surrounded by other students, to having those extracurricular activities."
Beyond their own experiences, the students on the Youth Commission wanted to learn more, so they created a survey intended for their fellow students around Arizona. It included questions like:
- How has in-person school changed from previous years?
- What resources have your school/district/teachers provided to support mental health?
The Youth Commission developed the survey hoping to help not just identify problems, but also to offer state leaders focused solutions on how to fix them.