AHS student presents program to state Senate as part of 4-H committee

LANSING — An Alpena teen recently received a chance to discuss invasive species issues in Michigan in front of the Michigan Senate.

Alpena High School junior Brooke Gersewski and other 4-H members presented as part of the Michigan 4-H Youth Conservation Committee Oct. 18 during an open Senate session in Lansing.

Gersewski has been involved with 4-H for a decade and has participated in the sewing, shotgun and livestock clubs, among other activities.

She was asked to join the committee by 4-H officials, and the group of teens from all over the state began to meet in Mount Pleasant every other week beginning in March to determine a topic to bring to the Senate. She said the group decided after research to discuss the issues of invasive species in Michigan waterways.

“We got about five topics to look over and the leader had to determine which one was best and finally we decided on invasive species,” she said. “Being involved in 4-H got me to being involved in bigger things, and allowed me to meet Sen. Jim Stamas.”

Gersewski said one of the topics discussed with senators was the installation of communication signs about invasive species at boat launches, as well as stationary boat washing stations at boat launches in the state.

She said a theme of the presentation is that it would cost fewer dollars to inform the public with signs and other actions concerning invasive species than it would be to later have to pay to have the species removed.

Gersewski said although the group was nervous she quickly got over her jitters about presenting.

“The senators were very friendly,” she said “It was very cool to get to see them go through the meeting.”

Gersewski said she is looking forward to perhaps getting into politics after high school and keeping up involvement with the 4-H committee. She said was proud to be the first teen from Alpena with a seat on the committee.

Jason Ogden can be reached via email at jogden@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Jason on Twitter @jo_alpenanews.