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youth & government

Since 1948, California YMCA Youth & Government has provided outstanding educational and social experiences for more than 70,000 middle and high school youth. Mission Valley's Model Legislature and Court Program for high-school students meets from September to April, and the Model United Nations program for middle-school students meets from February to June.

High School Students

Model Legislature & Court Program












Informational Meetings:

RSVP: Ray Wilson, [email protected], 619-298-3576



The Model Legislature and Court Program brings together more than 2,500 high school students and more than 300 volunteers from approximately 80 locations throughout the state as delegates to discuss issues facing California and our nation.

The Mission Valley delegation meets weekly from September–April to write legislative bills, select governmental positions to role-play, attend state-wide training conferences, and run for various elected offices. The program reaches its peak in Sacramento at the State Capitol with the convening of the five-day Model Legislature and Court each February. “Real” government moves over and the teen delegates take over, running the historic halls, chambers, and offices of our State Capitol, Supreme Court, and Governor’s Office. The program, however, is by no means a government boot camp.

A key focus of Youth and Government is the building of friendships among its participants. During free time at conferences (which can consist of dances, games, or just relaxing), relationships are built that last a lifetime. It is extremely common for participants to refer to their Youth and Government buddies as the best friends they ever had. The key here is that Youth and Government uses the tool of a Model Legislature and Court session to provide participants with the life skills they will use even if they decide to pursue a professional career outside of government.

Fee: TBA

Information: Ray Wilson, [email protected], 619-298-3576

Scholarships are available

History

In the mid 1930s, Clement "Pete" Duran, a YMCA Director from Albany, New York, wanted to find a meaningful experience for young people that might inspire them to become active and concerned participants in government as citizens. He struck upon the idea of a "model" legislature that would provide hands-on learning.

The slogan, "Democracy Must Be Learned By Each Generation," was developed by Duran to interpret the purpose of the program. The first Model Legislature was held in Albany, New York in 1936.

See the California YMCA Youth & Government Program website for more information: www.calymca.org

It's About Building Friendships

During free time at conferences (which can consist of dances, games, or just relaxing) relationships are built that last a lifetime. It is extremely common for participants to refer to their “Youth and Government buddies” as the best friends they ever had.

Teen Fun • Debate & Public Speaking • Travel Statewide • Meet New People!