Mission: To help teenagers become responsible citizens and future leaders of our nation.
Goal: To create an environment in which students can increase their political awareness and understanding, while learning the meaning of social action through an actual hands-on experience in government.
YMCA Youth & Government is a national YMCA program, active in approximately 40 states. The first Youth in Government program took place in 1936 in New York – Texas Program began in 1946. Today, nearly 25,000 students annually take part in state Youth & Government conferences, nationwide (including Model State Government and Model United Nations conferences), with 3,300 adult volunteers and YMCA staff serving as adult advisors. Many of these advisors were involved throughout their high school career and return as adults to help “give back” to a new generation of youth leaders.
The purpose of the Youth and Government Program is to prepare a selected group of young people for moral and political leadership in the American democratic process by providing guidance, training and experience in the theory and practice of determining public policy on the state level. It is called "a laboratory in citizenship and government."
The program also affords youth the opportunity to comprehend the meaning and importance of the personal experience with the Judicial branch of our state government. The Judicial system of the Youth and Government Program began in Texas in 1960. Since then, other programs have been added including lobbyists, government planners and media.