YOUTH AND GOVERNMENT
YMCA Youth & Government is a national program of the Y that involves thousands of teens nationwide in state-organized, model-government programs. Students from every corner of the U.S. have the opportunity to immerse themselves in experiential civic engagement and to, quite literally, practice democracy. Teens from across every state meet in their local Youth in Government groups throughout the year to discuss and debate issues that affect citizens of their state and to propose legislation. The program culminates with teens serving as delegates at their state conference, debating bills on the floor of the legislature.
The YMCA Youth & Government program in New Hampshire celebrates 69 years of history. The program serves 300 teens from 30 schools throughout New Hampshire. The program takes place in March/April and is held at the state capitol. Here students have an opportunity to experience state government by electing their own youth officials. Elected officials include the governor, the House Speaker, senate president and chief justice of the supreme court. Other delegates participate as members of the House and Senate, Executive Council, Supreme Court, Lobbyists or Press Corp. Students are responsible for writing their own legislation prior to arriving in Concord. This legislation is compiled into a billbook from which the work of the House and Senate committees is derived.
The purpose of the YMCA Youth & Government program is to prepare teens for political citizenship in local, state, or national government roles. The program provides guidance, training and an experience in the American democratic process through the form of state government. The YMCA Youth & Government Program is based upon the Y’s core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility and seeks to accomplish its purpose in the following ways:
- To provide guidance, training and experience in the theory and practice of determining public policy.
- To confirm the principles of democracy and promote courage in solving public questions.
- To develop the attitude that through collaborative action in the three branches of government (executive, legislative and judicial) people can improve their current situations.
- To reveal the importance of the freedoms set forth in the Bill of Rights and in state and federal constitutions.
- To show that an honest difference of opinion, with freedom to express it, is a healthy medium in which to attain personal dignity.
- To indicate that in our society judgments with respect to values and goals will rest with the members of that society.
The YMCA Youth & Government program believes that only members of a society can improve that society and all citizens must be educated in the process of policy making where emotions and feelings are tempered by reason and by fact.
Please email Deborah Galipeault at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about our Youth & Goverment program.