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Millis/Medway - Local Town Pages

Lucy Sisto of Millis attends State Youth Summit

Members of this year’s Massachusetts Youth Summit sponsored by Sen. Rebecca Rausch (center) at the State House. Lucy Sisto of Millis is second from the right. Photo source: Office of Sen. Rebecca Rausch

By Theresa Knapp 
Lucy Sisto of Millis attended this year’s Youth Summit at the Massachusetts State House. The April summit was hosted by State Senator Rebecca Rausch who invited a small number of students to the State House “for conversations with elected officials, policy leaders, and students across the Senator’s district,” according to her office.  
The goal of the annual gathering is to “engage youth in policy conversations on issues that matter most to them and to work together to generate new ideas for policies that could positively impact the lives of young people in the Commonwealth.” The day included a panel discussion with legislators, breakout group activities, presentations, and more. 
Sisto, who graduated from Millis High School in June, has a strong interest in healthcare and hopes to become a doctor. She described the event as a “great experience.”  
“It was really amazing to be in a group of students who are so passionate and motivated! I learned a lot about niche topics that I have not explored before…It was so interesting to be surrounded by students who are passionate about other things, I definitely learned a lot.” 
Sisto said the day started with a tour of the State House. 
“It was a very good tour. The most memorable part was seeing the ‘Holy Mackerel’ and the ‘Sacred Cod’ that reside in the State House. The only time the Sacred Cod has left the State House was when it was “Cod-napped” in the 1930s,” she said. “We had some guided discussions, then had lunch. We then had more independent discussions where we narrowed down our ideas and spoke in smaller groups. At the end, we had the chance to present our ideas to Senator Rausch.”
After the event, Sen. Rauch said, “The students’ energy and engagement made this year’s Youth Summit a great success. I am deeply proud to create and offer opportunities such as our Spring Youth Summit to empower students to make their voices heard as they advocate for meaningful social change. Hands-on civics education prepares young people to engage in our democracy today and lead it in years to come. I was impressed by Lucy’s group policy proposal to expand health care access, which centered justice and equity.” 
Sisto was referred to the Youth Summit by one of her high school teachers. 
“In Millis, we do senior projects, and my project involved helping Medicaid members who speak English as a second language. I wanted to spread awareness about this issue as well as propose an idea. A teacher in Millis referred me to the Youth Summit, and it was a perfect match, so I applied to attend.” 
Reflecting on the summit, Sisto said, “This experience has inspired me to speak up about things that matter to me, even if I am not an expert on the topic. There is something to learn from everyone you meet, you just have to take the time to listen to everyone.”