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It's Official

By Alex Johnson
Cape Fear Academy

February 15th, the Senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, Paul Martin Newby, swore in the 2019 Youth Governor, John Bailey. Since his first visit in 2005, Newby continues to annually attend the Youth and Government conference to swear in the new Governor and delegations.

“I’ve been administering this oath since 2005 to the YMCA Youth Legislature program,” said Newby.

Per tradition, the Lieutenant Governor, Hunter Vaughn, recognized the floor leader as they requested all delegates stand. John Bailey entered with his cabinet, followed by Justice Newby. Bailey then took an oath led by Newby.

The pledge to the Constitution holds great significance to Youth and Government. Newby said, “The State Constitution of 1776 reminds us that our frequent recurrence to fundamental principles is absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty.” It is essential to remind fellow delegates about the importance of the preservation of liberty, as it provides a model to find their voice in government.

Newby continues to visit because he feels that, “The young people gathered here today are the future of our state and our nation.”

Youth and Government teaches young people special skills that they will value for a lifetime. “The YMCA program helps these young folks in such a special way [to] the give and take of how public policy occurs and [how] laws are made,” said Newby, “It’s vital for all citizens, in a self-government situation, to understand these things.”

The oath is a definite moment of the delegation and the Youth Governor himself. The past months Bailey has been working in the governor position but isn’t technically the governor until he is sworn in. He says, “It really becomes real once you raise your hand and Justice Newby swears you in." He describes it as an “awesome feeling”.

After this oath, John Bailey can officially call himself North Carolina Youth and Government Governor. Not only is it real for Bailey, but it is real for everyone in Y&G.