Youth Changemaker Conventions

Convention Dates

Changemaker Convention 1
July 12-17 | Milwaukee, WI
Carroll University

Changemaker Convention 2
August 23-28 | Charlotte, NC
Queens Univ. & Camp Thunderbird


Convention Leadership

Each Changemaker Convention will be led by youth leaders from around the country.

If you are interested in serving on our Convention Leadership Committee (CLC), please complete the application below:

Leadership Application

Deadline: Sunday, March 1st


Registration & Fees

Registration Form:
Convention Registration

Sign-up for our Email List.

Convention Fee: $1,250.00
Includes Lodging, Meals, Transport between Convention Sites, and Activities/Materials

Fee does not include travel to/from host city.

College Credit: $999.00 (Optional)
Three (3) college credits in Political Science from Reinhardt University.

Convention Scholarships:
Scholarship Application


About the Conventions

In July and August of 2020, YMCA Youth and Government will host Youth Changemaker Conventions in Milwaukee, WI and Charlotte, NC to coincide with the Democratic and Republican National Conventions taking place in each city:

Convention Flyer & Sample Agenda (PDF)

These non-partisan youth-led conventions will provide students from across the country with the opportunity to work together on building a youth-led platform for the future of the country while engaging with local, state, and national political figures and experts as they take part in their respective conventions.

Youth participants will arrive on the Sunday prior to the start of each respective convention (July 12th or August 23rd), and depart on Friday morning following the conclusion of the convention (July 17th or August 28th).


Registration, Fees, & Scholarships

Registration for both conventions is now open for all participants – students and adult chaperones. Spaces will be limited, so be sure to register as soon as possible:

Convention Registration Form

If you want to be notified when the registration form opens, please add your name and email to our Changemaker Convention Email List.

The Convention Fee is $1,250, which include lodging, transportation between convention lodging/program sites, meals, programming, and activities. The only cost not included in your fee will be travel to and from Wisconsin or North Carolina.

For state delegations or YMCA groups bringing 10 or more students, 1 adult registration is complimentary for every 10 students in your group.

In addition to scholarships that may be available from your state programs (please check-in with them first), participants can also submit an application:

Convention Scholarship Application

The Y is a non-profit organization committed to ensuring access to our programs for all interested students. In order to be considered for a scholarship, a student and their parent/guardian must fully complete and submit the application.


Partner Universities & Lodging

Our Changemaker Conventions will take place in the host cities for the 2020 Democratic & Republican National Conventions: Milwaukee, WI (DNC) and Charlotte, NC (RNC).

In addition to visiting official DNC and RNC venues, programming and lodging will be provided at a partner university near each city. In Charlotte, we will also be partnering with the local YMCA Residential Camp for our lodging:

Changemaker Convention 1 | Milwaukee, WI
Carroll University (Programming & Lodging)

Changemaker Convention 2 | Charlotte, NC
Queens University (Programming) / YMCA Camp Thunderbird (Lodging)

Transportation to and from all venues (including arrival/departure from regional airports) will be provided to all participants as part of their program fee.


Agenda & Programming

Over the course of the week, participants will take part in a variety of workshops and trainings, service projects, a model convention process, hear from public officials, political experts, and media, and attend/experience components of their respective conventions.

Programming on the agenda for each convention may include, but is not limited to:

  • Model Convention Process: Rules/Procedures, Platform-building, and Nominating
  • Meetings/Forums with Public Officials, Political Experts, and Media
  • Attending/Experiencing events and sessions at the DNC/RNC
  • Youth Advocacy Workshops
  • Non-partisan Youth Voter Registration & GOTV Trainings
  • TED-Ed Talk Training & Presentations
  • Service Projects with Local Community & YMCAs
  • Focus Groups/Polling on Youth Issues


Optional College Credit

We are partnering with Reinhardt University, a fully regionally accredited University, to offer participants an opportunity to earn three (3) hours of college credit in Political Science.  The fee for this optional credit opportunity is $999.00.

Students taking advantage of this opportunity will participate in pre-event online modules, readings, and discussions and submit a post-event project.


Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about participating? Here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions:

  • Are scholarships available to attend?
    Yes! In addition to scholarships that may be available from your state programs (please check-in with them first), we also have an online scholarship application. The Y is a non-profit organization committed to ensuring access to our programs for all interested students. In order to be considered for a scholarship, a student and their parent/guardian must fully complete and submit the application. All information on your application will remain strictly confidential.
  • Are the Changemaker Conventions partisan or affiliated with a party?
    No. While each Changemaker Convention will take place during either the Democratic or Republican National Conventions, our programs will have no partisan affiliation or connection to the respective party. While students will have the opportunity to attend or experience components of the conventions, our programming will remain non-partisan, with speakers and guests from across the political spectrum.
  • Do I have to support the party/candidates of the convention I attend?
    No. Convention participants will be taking part in a non-partisan model convention process to address issues important to them, no matter their political background. The Changemaker Conventions will not be supporting either party or their candidates, but will be taking the opportunity to observe and learn from the process at each convention.
  • Can I attend both Conventions?
    Due to limited spaces, and to provide a unique experience to all participants, preference will be given to students who are only attending one convention. This will also allow students with different summer commitments/schedules to select a convention based on the best dates for them and their families. If spaces are still available after our registration deadline, students can submit a request to register for both conventions.
  • Will be attending the actual DNC/RNC convention sessions?
    Most of our Changemaker Convention programming will occur at a nearby college campus during each convention, but our agenda will include visits to the convention site, attendance at convention proceedings, and meetings with speakers and public officials from their respective conventions.