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
All Youth and Government Advisors (and YMCA Staff/Volunteers, if applicable) can serve as YMCA Civic Health Champions each year, who work to assess and strengthen the civic health of their schools through the Youth and Government program.
To become a certified champion:
To learn more about civic health funding available to champions in your state, contact your state program.
Each year, those interested in serving as champions submit their certification form, which helps the Y and their respective Youth and Government program support their work throughout the year. This form covers:
Once you’ve submitted your certification form, your school(s) will appear as drop-down options on the Youth Civic Health Survey within 72 business hours.
During the school year, champions facilitate their school’s participation in the Youth Civic Health Survey, which measures indicators of civic health adapted from the Volunteering and Civic Life Supplement of the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey:
Each champion administers the survey to both their delegation members (after their participation in all program events for the year) as well as a sample size of their school’s overall student body (as allowed by school/state policy).
After their delegation completes all Youth and Government events for the year, and once they have finished administering the Youth Civic Health Survey, all champions will submit their end-of-year report.
This report asks for a summary of their progress towards the goals they set in their certification form, as well as any lessons learned that they want to apply in future years.
Over the summer, the Y’s Civic Health Advisor will review your report and analyze the data from your school’s survey responses and provide you with a summary of the results.
All certified Civic Health Champions are eligible for Civic Health Funding that can be used to support their Youth and Government delegations.
Please contact your state program to learn about the funding opportunities in your state.