Youth Cabinet

Program Overview

Our Youth Cabinet program is available to high school students (grades 9-12) in the following states:

Click on your state to learn more and apply for your state’s Youth Cabinet.

During your yearlong term as Youth Cabinet member, you’ll work with youth leaders from across your state to develop a youth policy agenda and advocate for legislation that advances your agenda:

  • Participate in virtual cabinet meetings throughout the year.
  • Collaborate with cabinet members to develop a youth policy agenda for your state.
  • Develop and implement an advocacy strategy that advances your policy agenda.
  • Present your policy agenda to state officials and legislators.

If you have any questions about joining a Youth Cabinet, please email derek.summerville@ymca.net.

 

Youth Cabinet Positions

Each Youth Cabinet is led by a Youth Governor, who oversees the program throughout the year and presides over all cabinet meetings:

  • You must be a rising senior to apply to serve as Youth Governor of your state, and serve during your senior year.
  • If selected as Governor, you commit to attending the Youth Governors Conference in Washington, D.C. in June prior to the start of your senior year, and representing your state as a member of the Youth Governors Association (YGA), which meets throughout the year to facilitate national collaborations and opportunities.

In addition to Youth Governor, there are a wide variety Youth Cabinet positions that reflect the executive departments and agencies of your state government. Visit your state webpage to learn about the different positions available on your Youth Cabinet.

 

Cabinet Meetings

Youth Cabinet members will meet virtually throughout the year, and work towards the presentation of their youth policy agenda each spring. Each virtual meeting will help the cabinet develop, adopt, and advocate for their agenda, with cabinet members responsible for their position’s respective policy areas:

1. Organizational Session (October-November)

  • The first cabinet meeting will serve as an organizational session, including cabinet members introductions and an overview of  cabinet process and procedures
  • Each cabinet member will share their vision for the issues they’d like to address in their respective policy area as part of the youth policy agenda.

2. Policy Agenda Briefing (November-December)

  • The second cabinet meeting will serve as a briefing on the different pieces of legislation under consideration for inclusion in the cabinet’s youth policy agenda.
  • Each cabinet member will brief the cabinet on three pieces of legislation introduced by their state legislature that they would like to consider for inclusion on the youth policy agenda. These three pieces of legislation must be within the jurisdiction of their position’s respective policy areas.

3. Policy Agenda Hearing (January-February)

  • The third cabinet meeting will serve as an official hearing to select legislation that will be included in the cabinet’s youth policy agenda
  • The cabinet will debate the three pieces of legislation proposed by each cabinet member, then rank and select one piece of legislation per member to formally adopt as part of the youth policy agenda.

4. Advocacy Planning (February-March)

  • The fourth and final cabinet meeting will serve as a planning session for presenting and advocating for the cabinet’s youth policy agenda.
  • The cabinet will work together to plan their youth policy agenda presentation (including if the presentation will be virtual, hybrid, or in-person), and finalize their advocacy strategy for reaching out to public officials.

5. Youth Policy Agenda Presentation (March-May)

  • In the spring, the cabinet will present their youth policy agenda in a virtual, hybrid, or in-person format to public officials, partners, and community members.
  • The cabinet will also activate their advocacy strategy, reaching out to respective state officials to advocate for the legislative priorities included in their policy agenda.

Students selected as members of the next year’s Youth Cabinet will be announced following the youth policy agenda presentation, including the new Youth Governor, who will represent the state at the Youth Governors Conference in Washington, D.C. in June and serve as a member of the Youth Governors Association (YGA).