Civic Health

The Y and Civic Health

Advancing “civic health” – how communities are organized to define and address public issues – requires inclusion of youth voices. The Y’s civic health strategy invests in our work to empower young people – not just as program participants, but as active contributors and stakeholders in decision-making within our organization and civic institutions.

The Y will pave the way for young people to improve the civic health of their communities by cultivating partnerships, expanding youth advocacy, engaging youth voice in leadership and governance, and ensuring equitable access and participation in our youth civic engagement programs.


Civic Health Champions

The Y is partnering with the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) to recognize and resource middle and high school educators as Civic Health Champions who will assess and strengthen the civic health of their schools through their sponsorship the Y’s Youth and Government program:

In addition to attending both fall and spring virtual trainings hosted by NCoC and the Y, champions will:

  • Receive a stipend (varies by state) to offer Youth and Government at their school.
  • Bring students to their state’s Youth and Government conference
  • Set civic health goals for their students and schools as well as administer a youth civic health survey to their Youth and Government participants and overall student body.

Interested in becoming a Civic Health Champion at your middle or high school? Visit our champions page to learn more and complete the registration process.


Civic Health Survey

As part of their role, Civic Health Champions will facilitate their school’s participation in the Youth Civic Health Survey – inspired by NCOC’s Civic Health Index (CHI) – consisting of indicators adapted from the Civic Engagement and Volunteerism Supplement of the Current Population Survey (CPS) conducted by the Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Youth Civic Health Survey

Each champion will administer the survey via the online portal above to their Youth and Government participants as well as their school’s overall student body (recommended sample of at least ~100 students depending on the size of your school).

If any parents/guardians have additional questions about their student’s participation in the survey, please share our Letter to Parents/Families, which also provides a link where they can download the full list of Youth Civic Health Survey Indicators (PDF).


Civic Health Partners

The Y is proud to partner with several national organizations supporting our Civic Health efforts, each providing resources, training, and opportunities to our local Ys, staff, volunteers, members, and program participants:

  • National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC)
  • Nonprofit VOTE
  • Civic Holidays

Learn more about each our partners on our Civic Health Partners page, with information on how you can work with them in your school, YMCA, and community.