The average age of officials and employees in Streamwood and Hanover Township dropped by about 25 years Wednesday.
Some 90 positions in the village of Streamwood, the township and the Streamwood Park District were filled by seniors from Streamwood High School for the school's annual Student Government Day.
The event pairs students from civics and economics classes with an employee or official in local government. Students learn what it takes to run a village department or maintain township roads -- lessons that drive home the impact of local government.
"We hope that they have an appreciation for the people that serve them on a daily basis," said George Rosner, the Streamwood teacher who started the program 30 years ago with then-Village Clerk Billie Roth (now village president). "Hopefully this gets them to take an interest in their local government."
Student Government Day started with about 20 students. Since then, it has grown as more government agencies jumped on board and more students applied for the program as word-of-mouth spread.
Saher Khan, a senior who plans to student journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said she decided to apply after shadowing state Sen. Michael Noland.
"Doing that really opened my eyes to how government works," Khan said. "I wanted to know how it works on a local level."
Alena Lulchak was Streamwood's village president on Wednesday. She spent much of the day preparing for a mock village board meeting run by the student village board Wednesday night.
Lulchak said she plans to minor in political science and attend law school before running for office as a judge.
"My plans haven't changed," Lulchak said, during a break from the action. "If anything, this gives me more background knowledge."
Roth was impressed by Lulchak's preparation and confidence.
"She's really taken control," Roth said. "I haven't had to do much today."
Hanover Township Highway Commissioner P. Craig Ochoa said Student Government Day provides a unique glimpse into local government.
"For them to see that interaction that we have with a particular resident, they would never see that with any other level of government," Ochoa said.