Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Behind the Scenes at the YOUTH Forum Press Conference

A guest blog post from Danielle Joseph, YOUTH Forum Associate.

Many of you have heard of the Youth Forum, but do you really know what they do? Sure they have monthly meetings with 200 students, they take trips to colleges, they go to local plays, but one of the most sought-after activities is the opportunity to interview the celebrity panelists before they ever go on stage at The Bushnell, as a part of the pre-Forum press conference.

At the YOUTH Forum Press Conference, eight lucky high school students get to interview people like Elizabeth Edwards, Malcolm Gladwell, and Mo Rocca. At our recent Forum, It's Satire!, the students got to meet and talk with panelists Samantha Bee, Jason Alexander, Randy Cohen and David Javerbaum.

YOUTH Forum students at the press conference.

The 30 minutes of discussion was exciting, interesting, and hilarious. Samantha Bee passionately discussed universal health care and her beloved Canadian system.

Samantha Bee emphasizes her point.

Youth Forum student Isaac Silk questioned Jason Alexander about his view on becoming the iconic George Costanza. (Turns out, he has no regrets!) Alexander also talked candidly about the effects of fame on his family and personal life.

Jason Alexander responds to a student inquiry.

Randy Cohen got caught up in the conversation of whether satire should or should not be politically inclined. The Ethicist was quick to question our students back on this question. At the end of the night, each of the students walked away not only meeting a funny celebrity but making a personal connection to a fascinating individual.

From left to right: Randy Cohen, Jason Alexander, Samantha Bee and David Javerbaum,
ready to answer YOUTH Forum questions.

YOUTH Forum students and the panelists pose together.

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