Approximately three years ago, a scared, antisocial kid with not a lot of friends walked into his local Youth and Government Delegation. And what started out as a simple exercise in civic education would soon become one of the most important formative experiences of his life.
That Delegate was me, and the Youth and Government Program I became a part of has done more to shape me as a person than any other institution I have had the pleasure of being a part of.
Youth and Government is a program that enables High School students to attain a hands-on civic education. Members of the program attend three conferences in a year, during which they roleplay the State Government as members of the Legislature, Court, Executive, and numerous other bodies. In our final conference we take control of the city of Sacramento and are allowed to use chambers in the Capitol building and nearby Court buildings for our proceedings.
By teaching students about the democratic process, Youth and Government instills an understanding of the Government that familiarizes people with it's inner-workings. This makes members of the program far more likely to register to vote, become activists, or run for office themselves. But Youth and Government is far more important than that. Youth and Government helps to build lifelong relationships among it's members. As a member of the program and a resident of San Diego, I have come to meet students from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Eureka, and many other regions of California, all of whom are enthusiastic about our Government.
I implore you to donate to this wonderful program and give other students like me the chance to patronize democracy.