Arkansas high school students are lending their voices to Washington policies as members of U.S. Sen. John Boozman’s Congressional Youth Cabinet, a program to expose students to the legislative process and opportunities for advocacy and civic engagement.

The group of 44 juniors from all four congressional districts met for the first time in Little Rock on last week.

Local students who participated include: Benjamin Collins and Josh Hale, both of North Little Rock

“I am pleased to launch this program in Arkansas and bring together young leaders from all corners of the state,” Boozman said. “I look forward to receiving their feedback on subjects that interest them and their peers and discussing the challenges facing our nation. We all have a responsibility to use our talents to improve our communities and I am grateful that these students are interested in helping shape the future and advocate on issues important to them.”

The Congressional Youth Cabinet is a nonpartisan initiative that allows students to gain first-hand experience of engaging in the democratic process. Participants will attend several meetings throughout the school year. As part of the program, they will research a national issue they select and present their recommendations for Senator Boozman at the final meeting in April.

Information about this year’s program was distributed to all Arkansas public school districts and students submitted applications to participate. Students were chosen to represent all four congressional districts with an emphasis on community involvement and leadership.

The following students are participants:

1st Congressional District

Angel Castillo of Stuttgart, Anthony Wayne Conklin of Austin, Roxana Flores of Jonesboro, Kayla Jones of Jonesboro, Shannon Langston of Blytheville, Sabrina Martin of Marked Tree, Emma McDaniel of Jonesboro, Mary Katherine Osborne of Wynne, Jackson Parrish of Marked Tree, Vivian Qualls of Ash Flat, Benjamin Robert of Bay, Myra Roork of Salem, Kevin Walker of Gassville

2nd Congressional District

Lauren Brown of Searcy, Reyna Chambers of Little Rock, Benjamin Collins of North Little Rock, Adam Graddy of Clinton, Josh Hale of North Little Rock, Andrew Hogue of Beebe, Nicki Hooten of Greenbrier, Carolyn Hopkins of Springfield, Haley Roberts of Little Rock, Jennifer Song of Little Rock and Sophia Young of Little Rock

3rd Congressional District

Samuel Cobbs of Rogers, Trent Curtis of Dover, Morgan DiBasilio of Rogers, Cora Ferguson of Fayetteville, Reeya Gandhi of Berryville, Garrett Hays of Gentry, Brian Huang of Fayetteville, Kade Jarvis of Gravette, Alex Jordan of Lincoln, Obadiah Koster of Bentonville, Zegita Rapert of Fayetteville and Elizabeth Ricker of Rogers

4th Congressional District

Mica Chesshir of Texarkana, Jance Cook of Texarkana, Tyler Dickson of Royal, Tiffany Hobson of Sims, Mekinzie Kyle of Mena, Javan Patterson of Texarkana, Madison Stanley of Texarkana and Emily Staton of Magazine