The State of Sunshine has written about this on several occasions, and the program really is “One of the best Ideas I’ve Ever Seen.”
House of Representatives
Kevin C. Ambler
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: JENNA LABADIE, LEGISLATIVE AIDE
June 26, 2007 PHONE: (813) 558-1333
Tampa –FRIDAY, JUNE 29th, Governor Charlie Crist, Representative Kevin Ambler (R-Lutz) and Senator Victor Crist (R-Tampa) will be joined by the 3rd annual “Ought to be a Law” Student Legislation Council for a ceremonial bill signing of HB 1161. The bill signing will take place at 3:00 pm in the Hillsborough County School District Conference Room located at 901 East Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa.
Written and lobbied by the students, the High School to Business Career Enhancement Act creates the first statewide internship program for high school students. The new law authorizes all 67 school districts to establish partnerships with local businesses and cultivate educational opportunities and professional experiences for semester long internships. It also clarifies those businesses employing student interns in this program are not subject to unemployment tax.
“These students fought hard to create a statewide internship program for their peers to succeed in the 21st century. It is no small task to get a bill passed in the Legislature and furthermore to have the Governor support it as well. This bill signing is history in the making for the ‘Ought to be a Law’ program as this is the first bill in the short three year run of the program to make it to the Governor’s desk for his signature,” Rep. Ambler said.
Rep. Ambler and Sen. Crist hope that the success of this year’s county-wide program challenges other legislators across Florida to start a similar program in their districts. Recognizing the need for real-life civics lessons, “Ought to be a Law” captures the fundamentals of participating in state government and learning the process first hand while enhancing the classroom experience.
The team of students who participated in the OTBAL program’s Student Legislation Council are: Jennifer Madden (Gaither High School), Hannah Volz (Sickles High School), Brett Palaschak (Spoto High School), Sam Jennings (Jefferson High School) Aaron Sykes (Plant City High School), Ron Holly (Durant High School), Tomas Gacio (Bloomingdale High School), Stephani Plourde (Alonso High School), Erica Rodriguez (Brandon High School), Lexi Darsey (Chamberlain High School), Kyle Simmons (King High School), Miqae`lah Grace (Newsome High School) and Logan Cobb (Plant High School).
Rep. Ambler and Sen. Crist commend Superintendent Mary Ellen Elia and the principals of our Hillsborough County High Schools for their support and positive encouragement of the students. Also special recognition goes to the outstanding efforts of the teacher chaperones that made the trips to Tallahassee with the students during Legislative Session: Jason Levy (Gaither High School), Brian Hoover (Chamberlain High School), Craig Shimkus (Durant High School), Naze Sahebzamani (Durant High School) and William Klett (Spoto High School).
For further information on the “Ought to be a Law” program you can visit: http://www.sdhc.k12.fl.us/otbal/