"Many times, when you hear about a bill on TV, you won't understand why they made a decision they made. Students who get involved with Youth Legislature get a better understanding of that and the process of it all."

Every year, more than 1,800 middle school students in Louisiana come together to learn about the legislative process at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Baton Rouge's Youth Legislature.

On March 27 and 28, Ascension Christian Academy participated in the Youth Legislature, Session Four, at the Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge. Other participating schools in Session Four were McKinley Middle Magnet, Our Lady of Mercy, Runnels, University View, and West Feliciana Middle.

Students who participate typically run for and elect a Governor, Speaker of the House, and a Senate President. They have the opportunity to participate in the entire legislative process. Many of them speak publicly before an audience.

Ascension Christian Academy English teacher Trudy Bates explained that the school did not have Youth Legislation last year. Bates helped create one at the school as an organization. Other schools may incorporate that into their curriculum.

"Twenty years ago, my own children were involved in the Youth Legislature sessions," Bates said. "My daughter ended up actually working for the State Department under Obama's presidency. My son, as he grew up, got more involved in his local government and the candidates. The Youth Legislature definitely made them more aware of government activities."

There are twelve students from Ascension Christian who participated in the legislative activities. Three were photojournalists, and another three were reporters. They write, co-write, and pass bills during the session.

"The students research a lot for the bills that they create," Bates said. "I really get to see them immerse themselves in government, as well as how it all works. They're actually involving themselves and doing things. They're learning how the history of Louisiana is made.

"Many times, when you hear about a bill on TV, you won't understand why they made a decision they made. Students who get involved with Youth Legislature get a better understanding of that and the process of it all."

Not only is it a great learning opportunity for the students on the legislative process, but it is also a great way to create camaraderie amongst the students. Ultimately, it enthralls the students in leadership possibilities.

Follow Darian on Twitter @dariangshark.