More than 200 students from 13 school districts in Bradford, Lycoming and Union counties gathered at Penn College on Thursday for the annual Student Government Seminar hosted by state Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Loyalsock Township). “This seminar is a great opportunity for high school students to interact with their local, state and federal officials,” said the senator, who also serves as chair of the college's board of directors. “It allows students to develop legislation, debate important issues with key policymakers, offer their personal input and vote on “mock” bills in an open session. The intent is for students to obtain a better understanding of the legislative process and develop professional relationships that can open the door for future internships and job opportunities." The commonwealth's largest Senate-organized student government event, the seminar incorporates student delegates and their teachers; local, state and federal officials; lobbyists and special interests; and the news media. After a dynamic presentation by Drew Compton, counsel/chief of staff to state Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati, on the "push and pull" of enacting legislation, the students broke into committee sessions to debate such hot-button issues as legalization of recreational marijuana. Student participants represented Athens Area High School, Canton Area High School, Jersey Shore Area High School, Lewisburg Area High School, Loyalsock Township High School, Mifflinburg Area High School, Montoursville Area High School, North Rome Christian High School, Northeast Bradford High School, South Williamsport Senior High, St. John Neumann Regional Academy, Troy Area High School and Williamsport Area High School.