What is Youth & Government?
Youth & Government (Y&G) is the largest mock legislature and court in California. High schoolers all across the state are given the incredible opportunity to not only learn how the government and court system works, but to also experience what it is like to be a part of it. Throughout the course of the year, delegates travel to three conferences: two in Fresno, and one in Sacramento. In Fresno, we learn about the different program areas (such as National Affairs Commission, Legislature, Appellate Court, etc.) and elect candidates for statewide positions. In Sacramento, Youth & Government takes over the capitol building for six days and in their chosen program area, delegates put together everything that they learned and worked toward all year. From debating bills to presenting court cases, everyone gets the opportunity to stand up and make their voice heard.
My Y&G Story
Anyone who has been able to participate in the California Youth & Government program can tell you how it has changed their life. Before I joined Y&G, I knew nothing about politics and had no interest in changing that; I was the epitome of political apathy. However, just one year in the Youth & Government program was enough to spark an interest in politics, a love for debating issues, and a passion for the program. This is currently my third year in Youth & Government and I am planning to go into a career in international relations!
My Y&G story isn't unique. Youth & Government is a truly life-changing program, and it is something that everyone should be able to participate in. It provides the opportunity for high schoolers to debate relevant topics and speak their minds, it cultivates an environment where delegates can step outside of their comfort zone and speak unprepared on a bill or proposal in front of hundreds of people, and it allows students to experience different areas of government and explore their passions. Most of all, Youth & Government brings together thousands of students that may have different backgrounds and political beliefs, but all share the same passion for the program.
How donating helps:
The cost of the program is over $1,000 due to the traveling involved and other expenses, and not everyone is able to afford it. In fact, around 1/3 of the 4,000 delegates who participate in Youth & Government each year rely on the scholarships that the Future Leaders Campaign (FLC) provides. FLC is solely devoted to raising money to provide financial support for delegates, and 100% of the money raised is put towards scholarships. Please keep in mind that no donation is too small - every dollar counts!