How to Join

Join YMCA Youth and Government

Interested in joining Youth and Government? We’re here to help! Follow the steps below to get started, and let us know if you have any issues connecting with your state program:


1. Contact Your State

Use our state directory to find out if your state have an active Youth and Government program or Youth Cabinet.

Next, reach out to the staff contact listed for your state, and they’ll walk you through the process for joining or starting a Youth and Government delegation.


2. Join or Start a Delegation

Most students participate in Youth and Government as part of a delegation at their school, while others participate in delegations based at their local YMCA (and sometimes both!)

When contacting your state, check if your school or local YMCA has an existing delegation. If not, they’ll provide you with the steps and materials you need to start your delegation.

To help you get started, your delegation advisor (adult volunteer) can become a certified Civic Health Champion and request funding to support your delegation.

Recruit peers from your school or community to be part of your delegation, and host meetings at your school or local YMCA.


3. Choose a Program Area & Role

Each member of your Youth and Government delegation will choose a program area and role to participate in at your state conference(s).

Every conference has different program areas and roles (branches of state government for a Youth Assembly, organs of the UN for a United Nations Assembly, and cabinet positions for a Youth Cabinet), so learn about the options available in your state.

Once you’ve selected your role, you’ll complete and trainings and assignments (researching and writing a bill, preparing an oral argument, identifying policy priorities, etc.) ahead of attending your conference.


4. Attend a State Conference

Your delegation will work together to prepare for attending your Youth and Government state conference(s), and your state program will provide you with information for planning your travel and logistics.

Each state conference is unique – some take place at your state capitol and/or a nearby hotel, while others use facilities like convention centers, government buildings, theaters, educational institutions, churches, and camps. Our Youth Cabinet meetings are primarily virtual, with the option for an in-person presentation at the end of the year.

No matter where or when your state conference takes place, it will be a transformative experience that provides you and your delegation with an incredible opportunity to represent your school and community.