Who We Are

Welcome to YMCA Youth and Government

Since 1936, YMCA Youth and Government has offered students across the country the opportunity to serve their schools, communities, states and nation through model government, civic engagement, advocacy, leadership and character development, service-learning, and other opportunities to amplify youth voice and strengthen youth civic health.

As one of the nation’s oldest and largest youth civics education programs, Youth and Government has provided hundreds of thousands of young people with the skills, training, and relationships needed to become life-long engaged citizens and community members.

Our Impact

Youth and Government currently serves over 55,000 students across the country, with active programs in 41 states and Washington, D.C., as well as program opportunities available to students in all 50 states. Our state programs host over 250 events each year for middle school, high school, and college students who represent nearly 2,000 schools and organizations.

Our History

Founded in New York in 1936 by YMCA Boys Work Secretary Clement “Pete” Duran, the YMCA Youth and Government program has a rich history of ensuring that “democracy must be learned by each generation.” Read more in our Program Timeline.