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 expanding access and participation in Youth and Government.
Any middle or high school educator (or YMCA Staff/Volunteer, if necessary) can become a certified YMCA Civic Health Champion, who works to assess and strengthen the civic health of their schools by offering the Youth and Government program to their students.
Once certified, Civic Health Champions are eligible to request Civic Health Funding once per school year that can be used to support their Youth and Government delegation.
Champions renew their certification each year by sharing their annual Civic Health Goals, administering the Youth Civic Health Survey at their school, and submitting their end-of-year Civic Health Report.
As part of their role, Civic Health Champions will facilitate their school’s participation in the YMCA Youth Civic Health Survey – which includes indicators utilized by the National Conference on Citizenship in their Civic Health Index (CHI).
These shared indicators are adapted directly from the Civic Engagement and Volunteerism Supplement of the US Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS):
Each champion will administer the online survey to both their Youth and Government participants as well as a sample size of their school’s overall student body.