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Youth Summit Cultivates New Leaders

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By Jessica Gould

The YMCA of Metropolitan Washington is bringing together hundreds of D.C. high school students for a crash course on civic education.

William Lovett is D.C.'s "youth mayor." He's only 16, but he's already making the rounds and pressing the flesh.

"I want to see a light shined on the youth in a productive way more than just fights and football. I want to see them doing stuff political and academic-wise," he says.

The program grooms D.C.'s next generation of leaders, says founder Jason Reimer.

"I wanted to bring a program together [where] the students would not only grow and be able to articulate their viewpoints on political issues, but also be able to have an avenue where they have mentors, they have friends," Reimer says.

Every year, the group elects a mayor and city council. Several of their proposals have gone before D.C.'s grown-up legislators. And some have even become law.

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