YMCA Youth and Government

Youth & Government™

Youth and Government™, a national YMCA program, empowers students from every corner of the U.S. by giving them the opportunity to learn about—and experience—government policies and methodologies firsthand.

Youth & Government™

A unique program

This unique program is made up of thousands of teens nationwide in state-organized, model-government programs. Participants immerse themselves in experiential civic engagement, debate issues that affect citizens in their state and even propose legislation. The program culminates with teens serving as delegates at their state conference, debating bills on the floor of the legislature.

Teenage stands at a microphone holding a clipboard

Campus YMCA Congress

The Campus YMCA Congress is a student-run model-government program that developes public service skills. Its mission is to train public servants as servant leaders, emphasizing policy over politics and making public service relevant to all college students, regardless of their field of study.

Real People, Real Opportunities

These videos provide a glimpse of what it's like to be involved with Youth & Government™ at the Y. Explore these real stories from real teens who are making a real impact.

Watch more Y stories

  • Youth and Government™: Opportunities I Never Thought were Possible.

    From modeling legislators at the local, state and national level to advocating for change, Youth and Government™ allows students to expand their worldview and shape public policy. Tristin has risen in the ranks among his peers at the Kentucky YMCA Youth Association to become a respected leader who will continue enacting change well beyond his time with Youth and Government™. This is his Y. His camera. His story.

  • Youth and Government™: I'm Going to Break the Stereotypes.

    To make her community a better place, Sabrina wants to show everyone that a young Latina leader can succeed. Find out how this governor's lobbyist from East Los Angeles YMCA is beating the odds and finding a place in Youth and Government™. This is her Y. Her camera. Her story.

  • Youth and Government™: One Thing I Learned from the Y: Never Give Up.

    Riley may not grow up to be a star basketball player, but he shines as a debater in Texas YMCA Youth and Government. Find out why this young governor is stepping up to be one of our future leaders of America. This is his Y. His camera. His story.

  • Youth and Government™: I See the World from So Many Angles.

    Amy's advice: "To be a good photographer, you have to be aware of your surroundings." Find out why this young leader from YMCA of Greater Montgomery sees the beauty all around her. This is her Y. Her camera. Her Story.

  • Youth and Government™: I No Longer Fear What I Have to Say.

    Washington YMCA Youth and Government™ not only offered Dany a safe place to thrive, it's also the reason she calls the Y her second home. This is her Y. Her camera. Her story.

Find Your Y

Ready to learn more? Search for Ys that offer Youth and Government™.

Coordinates

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