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This week, 28 high school students are in Springfield for the Public Affairs Academy on the S-M-S campus. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.
For nine days, a select group of 28 high school students from around Missouri are debating political issues, learning about poverty and exploring what it means to be a citizen.
Sophie Zevalia will be a senior at a St Louis area high school this fall.
She explains why she decided to participate in the Public Affairs Academy.
During the nine-day academy, students learn about a wide-range of issue relating to citizenship and public affairs.
Candace Fisk is the director of the Public Affairs Academy and an assistant professor in the College of Education at S-M-S.
Besides hearing from speakers on a wide-range of issues, the academy participants do a lot of talking and debating among themselves.
Andrew Fogle will be a senior at Central High School in Springfield.
Fogle says that debate taught him and the other students how to disagree without being disagreeable.
Again, Sophie Zivalia.
The level of discussion that's happening among students attending the Public Affairs Academy has impressed director Candace Fisk.
She says the goal is to impress on the students the importance of being active citizens.
Funding and sponsorship for the Public Affairs Academy at S-M-S comes from the university through the office of the president and Greenwood Lab School.