With the premise that leaders are developed by doing, the YMCA’s Youth and Government program’s motto is that “democracy must be learned by each generation.” The goal of the program is to create the next generation of thoughtful, committed and active citizens.

With this in mind, teens are taught the principles of a democratic society and are given leadership roles in the models of judicial, legislative and executive branches of local, state and national government. Youth and Government participants meet in 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.

 

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