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Youth In Government

Youth In Government provides students the opportunity to experience the democratic process and develop the leadership skills needed to become citizens of a participatory society. Based on the motto “Democracy Must Be Learned By Each Generation,” Youth In Government is a statewide program that involves more than 900 Missouri youth in grades 8 -12 each year.

Missouri YMCA Youth In Government promotes:

  • An understanding of local, state, national, and international concerns
  • Research, study, and debate on public issues
  • Exploration of careers in public service
  • Interaction with adult and youth leaders involved in decision-making processes
  • An understanding of political systems and the forum they provide for the effective and peaceful resolution of issues and concerns
  • Appreciation for the diversity of viewpoints on public issues and a concurrent respect for ideas, beliefs and the positions of others
  • Demonstration of citizenship responsibilities and leadership roles  essential to the health of a participatory democracy

Beginning in the fall of each year, students come together in their local delegations to choose their roles, and prepare for the State Convention. Delegations meet at schools and YMCAs across the Greater St. Louis area. At the YIG State Convention, students create their version of state government under the guidelines of the Missouri Constitution. All YIG participants in Missouri come together for this three-day event at the State Capitol. Legislators meet in committees and in the House and Senate chambers to debate legislation. Attorneys try their cases before student judges and engage in a moot trial competition. The entire event is covered by a student newspaper, published four times in three days, and by a student television news program that airs several times each day. Participants also engage in campaigns and elections for officers who will serve during the following year.


For more information on how to participate in YIG, visit Missouri YMCA Youth In Government, or contact Lauren Carmack at the YMCA.