HBHS Debate Team member honored with award

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be an active part of New Hampshire’s state government, wonder no more, because a group of local high school students can tell you firsthand.

The Hollis Brookline High School Debate Team participated in the annual YMCA Youth and Government Program on April 7 and 8, when high school students from across the state come together to get an inside look at how New Hampshire’s government works. For two days, they act as the state legislators – passing bills written by students about topics that matter to them; electing a Youth Governor, a Youth Senate President and a Youth Speaker of the House; debating policy and current events and how new laws could affect the people of New Hampshire.

After completing his second year in the program, Colton Mailloux, a senior at Hollis Brookline High School, was honored with an award for Character Development in the program. It was presented to him by Kathy Kirby, the adviser of the HBHS Debate Team and a teacher at Hollis Brookline High School.

“I was so surprised,” Mailloux said, “and it really hit me as she stepped up to the mic. Her introduction of me was really special and I am blessed to have her as an adviser.”

Mailloux has been an active member of the HBHS Debate Team for two years, and his adviser gave a short but emotional speech about his charisma and exuberant personality.

“In the weeks leading up to the YMCA Youth & Government sessions, I’ve enjoyed watching Colton and Caitlin Ross give instruction to younger members about Robert’s Rules of Order,” Kirby said. “Colton is serious about them learning the proper techniques, but he keeps the sessions fun and upbeat. Colton has an incredible amount of enthusiasm about the program – it’s infectious.”

Mailloux will be graduating with the rest of his senior class come June of this year, and in the fall of 2017, he will start his adventures as a college student at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, taking all that he has learned along with him.

“Youth and Gov has taught me a lot about how to compromise and reach common goals with fellow delegates, despite differing views,” Mailloux said. “The public speaking skills I have gained are second to none, and it is definitely something I recommend for any upcoming freshman.

“Join debate! It looks good for college and will help you for the rest of your life.”