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Heathwood Rules from the Bench at the 2022 Youth in Government Conference


February 23, 2023 - Congratulations to senior Liam Quan for being chosen as one of only two high school students to represent South Carolina for the National Youth In Government Youth Advocate Program. He participated in four months of virtual training, networking with his peers from across the country “to learn how to work with local, state, and national officials to advance policy solutions.” For more information about the program visit


Heathwood students attended the Youth in Government Conference from Nov. 2nd to the 5th in downtown Columbia. Run by the YMCA, the conference provides delegates an opportunity to learn how to solve community problems through the democratic process, as well as debate and discuss issues with their peers from throughout South Carolina.  More than 1,500 high school students participate in this three-day conference annually.

Over the course of this year's event, the Heathwood delegation had twelve pieces of legislation signed into law by the student governor - surviving committee and both chambers - no small feat!  This is a school record!

  1. Ginger Barker and Jane Broughton Babcock - An Act On Stopping The Tampon Tax
  2. Lauren Free and Maddie Clary - An Act to Mandate Separate Mental Health and Academic Counselor Positions 
  3. Leah McMahon and Roxie Floyd - An Act to Eliminate Pre-Trial Jail Time for Non-Violent crimes
  4. Davis Hagstette and Reston Wood - An Act to Improve South Carolina Roads
  5. Nicole Craft, Sophie Peek, and Helen Tinch - An Act to Repeal the “Read to Succeed” Law and Eliminate the Mandatory Retention of Third-Grade Students in South Carolina’s Public Education System
  6. Georgia Roberts and Sophie Hughes - An Act to Create State-Funded Daycare Programs
  7. Matthew Black and Robert Tighe - An Act to Punish Misdemeanor Sex Crime Sex Offenders
  8. Madline Hurst and Madelyn Gomez - An Act to Require the Purchase of a Locking Device to Accompany the Sale of a Firearm in Certain Situations  
  9. Merrit Horan and Lilly Grace Brown - An Act to Require a “Lifeskills Class” Credit to Graduate High School
  10. Jack Morris and Davies Roberts - An Act to Form a Firearm Permit in South Carolina
  11. Annie James and Riley Livingston - An Act to Increase the Paid Maternity Leave In the State of South Carolina
  12. Sellers McGee and Zane Truesdale - An Act to Mandate fair and equal rulings to receive custody of children between Men and Women in divorce court rulings

The Heathwood students who attended Youth in Government in 2022

The legislation proposed by Allison Davis and CeCe Fern received the Outstanding Bill Award. The award is based on the feasibility of the proposed policy, the degree to which it highlights an issue that needs to be addressed in our state, and how well the bill is written.  Their legislation was entitled: An Act to Provide Extended Foster Care for Persons Ages 18-24 in South Carolina.

Molly McVey was recognized as the Outstanding Appeals Attorney.

The following students served in leadership positions to which they were appointed based on their performance in previous YIG conferences:

  • Annie Benoit - Associate Justice 
  • Erin Carns - Presider 
  • Payton Laubacker - President Pro Tempore 
  • Liam Quan - Chief Justice
  • Caleb Runyan - Editor in Chief
  • Abby Suber - Presider
  • Ellie Tanner - Floor Leader