Mary Alice Reporting –

Two students finishing up their high school year at Claymont City School District were named to the Attorney General Teen Ambassador Board.

The year-long Board consists of high school students from across the state and those selected will convene twice in Columbus but also join monthly online meetings to talk with peers on issues relating to teens and possible solutions. Students will also attend presentations and meet with current Ohio leaders.

Claymont seniors Gemma Dotts and Mimi Bausch said they learned of the opportunity through their guidance counselor, Kristen Trimmer. As part of the application, an essay was submitted with Dotts focusing on substance abuse.

“I talked about how, through Youth to Youth, we’re going to be doing a program where we’re going to talk to some of the younger buildings about drug prevention because hearing about it from adults is different than hearing it from other kids.”

Bausch decided to concentrate on the issue of poverty.

“I talked about churches involvement and our community helping out our community more, because a lot of time there’s shaming community members and there’s a lot more ways that we as a community can do to help the people in poverty.”

Both agreed that it will be a good learning experience and a way to gain insights into problems happening in rural and urban Ohio, with Dotts noting that teenagers have a different perspective than adults.

“I think it’s important that our voices are heard. One thing I heard a lot from a lot of different people at the first meeting was we’re the next generation. We should have a say in what our government is doing since we’re the future of it.”

Bausch recognized the experience will open her mind.

“Tuscarawas County is totally different than places like Columbus, Massillon, and Akron and seeing the inside of the politics in our state is something that not a lot of people get to see, so it’s a cool experience that I get to carry with me.”

While a future in politics is not on either teens mind, Dotts said this experience will help with her goal of becoming a large animal veterinarian. Bausch is undecided on a career path but noted this chance could potentially help her narrow down a job field and give her more opportunities.

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