On February 26th, 2013  BAPS youth leadership group, a program of the American Friends Service Committee, traveled to the State Capitol for Kids and Families Day, to participate in the kickoff of the statewide child poverty campaign, Our Children, Our Future: The Campaign to End Child Poverty.

The eleven high school students were front and center in the day’s activities, having breakfast at the Governor’s Mansion where they heard from Speaker Rick Thompson and his experience growing up in poverty. One of the spokespeople for BAPS, Logan High School sophmore Jasmine Murphy, was a featured speaker at the Opening Ceremony in the Lower Rotunta, talking to over 400 people about her experience growing up with a parent in prison and why she believes in the need for investment in drug treatment, job training, and education—as opposed to building more prisons.  During the House Floor Session, Speaker Rick Thompson presented members of BAPS and other advocates with a House Resolution in support of the Our Children, Our Future campaign.

 Rickey French, coordinator for American Friends Service Committee said, “Logan County was on the map today at the State Capitol.”

 The BAPS youth joined other advocates in meetings with House Judiciary Chair Tim Miley, Governor’s staff, and paid a special visit to Del. Rupie Phillips, Del. Ted Tomblin, and Senator Kirkendoll to extend an invitation to them to attend the Logan Child Poverty Forum on March 16th at Southern Community and Technical College.  BAPS also had the opportunity to meet with Delegate Cliff Moore from McDowell County and Delegate Meshea Poore from Kanawha County.

 “I liked getting more comfortable talking to legislators about issues we care about and to learn more about what’s going on,” said Jimetta Early, a sophomore member of BAPS, “It was a great day!”

 For more information about sponsoring the Child Poverty Forum on March 16th or getting involved with BAPS, please contact Rickey French at (304) 946-7321.

Read the story in the Logan Banner here and on local TV station here.