Youth & Government

Programs

Youth and Government is a nation-wide YMCA program, active in nearly 40 states. Nationwide, nearly 25,000 students attend state Youth and Government conferences each year, with 3,300 adult volunteers and YMCA staff serving as adult advisors.

The Metropolitan Fort Worth YMCA Youth and Government is a youth-led, experiential learning opportunity which involves many Texas students each year.

The Metropolitan Fort Worth YMCA Youth and Government programs are organized throughout Tarrant and Hood counties to serve high school students. There are several components that make up Texas YMCA Youth and Government, including:

  • Legislative Branch
  • Executive Branch
  • Judicial Branch
  • Media
  • YMCA Youth Conference on National Affairs
  • Retreats and Training Session

Students can participate in one or more program offerings and register through their local YMCA or school delegations.

 

Program History

Youth & Government is a youth-led leadership club for high school students to learn about the legislative, judicial branches and other components of Texas government. Youth & Government offers opportunities to travel, consider careers, learn from professionals and make new friends.

The following is an overview of the different areas in which students can participate:

Legislative

This branch takes participants through development, approval, debate and conclusion of proposed bills that mirror real issues affecting Texas government.

Judicial

Participants in the judicial track work as judges, attorneys, bailiffs and witnesses in Appellate and Supreme Court mock trials. Civil and criminal cases are tried and decisions passed.

Executive Government Planners

Executive Government Planners follow the legislative order on a smaller scale; studying critical issues that face our state, present proposals for change or solution and debate their ideas with other planners.

News Media

With pen, camera or tape, students cover the events and issues of the conferences and report on local points of interest. Participants can choose to write, edit or produce the conference newspapers and broadcasts.

Youth Commission

The purpose of Youth Commission is to provide new delegates with a complete overview of the program. Through this track students are prepared for future participation as Legislators, Executive Planners, Lobbyists or involvement in the Judiciary track.

Lobbyists

As a Lobbyist, experienced delegates work to influence the outcome of legislation through participation in hearing committees, the media, the youth Governor, the Governor’s cabinet, Representatives and Senators.

Federal Relations Forum

Formatted for older delegates, this area functions as a task force for the youth Governor. Difficult topics are researched, discussed and debated while at the state conference.

Congressional Insights

At the state conferences, delegates can participate in an interactive computer simulation of service in Congress and federal budget planning.

 

Advisors

Welcome! We are so glad you are an advisor and hope you will find your section beneficial!

The most important element of the Youth & Government Program is the Advisor. The success of the program is dependent on how well prepared an advisor is for his/her role. The advisor’s job is one of facilitating a positive experience for the young people who participate in the program. The job includes many responsibilities like:

  • Recruit students
  • Recruit volunteers
  • Make contact with the state director
  • Develop the schedule of meetings
  • A calendar with projected dates for accomplishing specific tasks
  • Be available to provide information and assistance to the delegates as they prepare for their roles
  • Collect delegation applications and fees
  • Develop the whole student and not just the mind

Each local club must have a club advisor or coordinator in order to participate. This advisor, be it a “Y” professional, teacher volunteer, or part-time staff member, is vital to the success of the club – especially over the long run in year to year continuance. The advisor does not necessarily need to know a lot about government, as the program will teach this, but rather, must be able to work in the small group process, be enthusiastic and enjoy teenagers. The ideal ratio for advisors is one for every fifteen youth. At least one advisor must be over 21 years of age. The advisor should receive an orientation and training needed to effectively function in the YMCA’s Youth & Government program. To function effectively in the statewide Youth & Government Program, the advisor should plan to attend one Advisor training each year.

 

For more information about our Youth & Government programs, please contact:

Jenna Smith
Northwest YMCA
817-237-7237
jenna.smith@ymcafw.org