Niles junior ‘speaker of the house’

Published 9:46 pm Saturday, February 25, 2006

By By ANDY HAMILTON / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Bobby Anton had to be nominated by someone in his school in order to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum. He just doesn't have a clue who that person is.
What Anton does know is he was given the chance to attend the conference in Washington, D.C. during the first week of February because of his interest in government and his chosen career pathway at school, which includes classes in civics and law.
The NYLF hosts high school juniors and seniors from around the country, Anton said. The forum was based in a hotel outside of Washington, D.C. and the nearly 300 attending students were bused to locations in and around the city, Anton said.
During the week, Anton said the group visited the headquarters of the secret service and the Drug Enforcement Agency, and also toured the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Va. The students also walked the capitol lawn and saw groups of protesters as well as New York Senator Hillary Clinton speaking to the press, Anton said.
The instructors for the forum specialized in defense politics and diplomacy, Anton said. Their job was to lead the students in political and tactical simulations, such as dealing with a country whose leader had been overthrown by a militia, Anton said.
Students were placed in groups of 12 and chose a president, vice-president and a speaker of the house, to which Anton was chosen. Each group was then briefed on the region of the world they were supposedly involved with and the politics of the area. The team of students were then put in charge of making decisions and working with the foreign country to avoid conflict.
The six days he spent in Washington D.C. in the beginning of February were a bit of a reality check, Anton said.
After attending the conference Anton said he still wants a career somewhere in government, be it politics, law or the military.
All that remains now for Anton is choosing which branch of the service to join. Plus, figuring out who helped get him to Washington.