Students immersed in county government

Two Vermillion County Seniors took part in the first Commissioner's Mentoring Program Session of 2018 on Tuesday.

Posted: Jan 9, 2018 4:23 PM
Updated: Jan 9, 2018 10:02 PM

VERMILLION COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) -- Talk about "hands-on learning". That was the case for two Vermillion County Seniors on Tuesday. It was the first Commissioner's Mentoring Program Session of 2018.

It's a program that was started in Vermillion County 3 years ago by Commissioner Tim Yocum. Last year, the program won the award for “Most Outstanding Board of Commissioners Award for the State of Indiana”.

Adam Waldrop from South Vermillion, Judge Bruce Stengel, and Nathan Roderick from North Vermillion during the Commissioner's Mentoring Program. (WTHI Photo, Lacey Clifton)

Yocum says the goal of the program is to get schools involved in local government. He says several years ago that information was removed from the curriculum, so this is a way to bring it back and make it more realistic for students.

Two students, Nathan Roderick from North Vermillion, and Adam Waldrop from South Vermillion, took part in the mentoring on Tuesday.

The high school seniors were brought to the court house by the Sheriff's Department. They set in as Commissioners, and met all the important employees in the courthouse from the County Judge, on down. The students even decided to get registered to vote.

The program allows students to get acquainted with the various roles within county government.

Yocum says, "We’ve got future leaders here that we really need to find, and we need to harness them, and try to direct them and encourage them to move this county, state, and country, on."

Yocum says he would like to see other counties adopt programs like this one. He adds that he would be glad to help other counties set things up!

If you would like to reach out to Tim Yocum, you can give him a call or text at 812-208-2922, or email him at

Yocum would like to extend thanks to the many hands it takes to keep the program in motion. This includes Sheriff Mike Phelps and the Department, and each elected officer that takes the time to share their knowledge with incoming students.

Yocum says in the future, he may add an element where students get the chance to sit through court proceedings as well.

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