"Politicizing teenagers is one of the most punk rock things I've ever done" -Christian J., Westchester lead Advisor
What is Youth and Government? Y&G is a program where over 3,000 teens attend 3 conferences: 2 training conferences in Fresno and one in Sacramento. There, delegates learn about the logistics of the government, and participate in real-life situations from senate bill hearings to supreme court cases. With such experiences, many delegates gain the confidence to stand up for issues they are passionate about. It is not uncommon for a student to enter the program shy, and fearful of public speaking, but to graduate with the ability to speak confidently in front of large crowds. This is due to the positivity and love ever-prevalent in Y&G culture. This feauture in Y&G allows the program to have a lifelong impact because we take the lessons we've learned, and apply them to all aspects of our life.
Personally, this program has had a major impact on my life. I served as a bill sponsor my Freshman year and learned how to write a speech and vocalize support for legislation I was passionate about. My Sophomore and Junior years, I have had the priveledge of serving as a Lead Undersecretary of State. I help organize other undersecretaries, make the ballot that over 3000 delegates vote on, as well as encourage all delegates to vote. I enjoy this position because it gives me the ability to advocate for something I am passionate about: voter turnout. A democracy is unhealthy if only fifty percent of eligible voters turnout to vote. By instilling the importance of voting at the age of 15,16, or 17, Youth and Government creates life-long civicly engaged citizens who have the tools to enact meaningful change. This program means so much to my heart. Not only has it brought me close to many of my friends, but it has taught me how to formulate ideas, lead by example, and speak when I am called.
Nearly 1/3 of all participants in the program rely on some amount of financial aid. It saddens me to think many California Youth miss out on participating in this amazing program due to the cost. All teens deserve the opportunity to learn how to become the furure leaders of their commmunities, state, and country.
Every gift makes a difference. Please join me and give today.
With love and appreciation,
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