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South Shore YMCA

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Democracy Must be Learned by Each Generation

Youth in Government uses the YMCA core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility to teach teens in grades 9-12 how they can participate in the democratic process. Participants have opportunities to develop skills, make friends and learn how they can make a difference.

Youth in Government Ground Rules:

  •     Avoid Put Downs
  •     Choose Positive Rather than Negative
  •     Speak for Yourself
  •     Tell the Truth
  •     Respect Yourself and Others
  •     Be Responsible for Your Own Learning
  •     Accept Unfinished Business

Y in G Program Overview

What is Y in G all about?

The YMCA Youth in Government motto is Democracy must be learned by each generation. Every person can make a difference. Youth in Government helps participants acquire skills to take into the future:

  • Public speaking/communications
  • Greater understanding of democratic process
  • Enhanced leadership skills
  • Application of moral and ethical values to life decisions

As a YMCA program, Youth in Government focuses on: the core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility, civic engagement, fun.

Who can participate?

High school students in grades 9-12. Limited numbers of middle school students serve as legislative pages. Adult Advisors can be YMCA staff, teachers or volunteers. Alumni of the program may volunteer to serve in various ways.

How much time does it take?

Youth in Government delegations meet at the local level every one or two weeks after school or in the evening beginning soon after school starts. Meetings are usually 60-90 minutes long. All delegates participate in all-day state Pre-Legislative Conferences on three Saturdays over the course of the program year.

The Model Government Conference is held in early spring over three days from Thursday morning until Saturday afternoon, usually in Boston. Officers attend leadership training the Wednesday before the conference begins. All participants are expected to complete any missed school work.

What do delegates do in Y in G?

There are many ways to participate in Youth in Government. Delegates choose one of the following areas:

  • Legislative Branch
  • Judicial Branch: Approx. 50 delegates
  • Executive Branch: Approx.10 delegates
  • Press Corps: Approx.15 delegates
  • Lobbying Corps Approx. 10 delegates

The Legislative Branch is for students who are interested in debate, writing, and the law-making process.
Roles:

  • Representative
  • Senator

The Judicial Branch is for students who are interested in the law, arguing, grappling with moral issues, and writing.
Roles:

  • Attorney
  • Attorney General
  • Assistant Attorneys General
  • Associate Justices
  • Chief Justice

The Executive Branch is for students who want to exercise leadership qualities.

  • Governor: elected in junior year to serve in senior year.
  • Lt. Governor: elected in junior year to serve in senior year.
  • Cabinet: Eight members appointed by the Governor and Lt. Governor.

The Press Corps is for students who like to research, write and report the news. A Youth in Government newspaper, The Beacon, is published by the Press Corps.

The Lobbying Corps is for students who like to influence others to their point of view and advocate for positions.

 

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