Mission of the YMCA Youth and Government Program

Mission: To help teenagers become responsible citizens and future leaders of our nation.

Goal: To create an environment in which students can increase their political awareness and understanding, while learning the meaning of social action through an actual hands-on experience in government.

State Programs
Involved Students
Volunteers and Advisors


YMCA Youth & Government is a national YMCA program, active in approximately 40 states. The first Youth in Government program took place in 1936 in New York – Texas Program began in 1946. Today, nearly 25,000 students annually take part in state Youth & Government conferences, nationwide (including Model State Government and Model United Nations conferences), with 3,300 adult volunteers and YMCA staff serving as adult advisors. Many of these advisors were involved throughout their high school career and return as adults to help “give back” to a new generation of youth leaders.


The purpose of the Youth and Government Program is to prepare a selected group of young people for moral and political leadership in the American democratic process by providing guidance, training and experience in the theory and practice of determining public policy on the state level. It is called “a laboratory in citizenship and government.”

YMCA Mission

In partnership with the YMCA we are able to combine their core principles and strength with what Texas Youth and Government strives to achieve; the advancement of youth to become successful in their future endeavors. Having the Y assist us in every major faucet allows them to incorporate their core values that consist of:

  • Caring: to demonstrate a sincere concern for others, for their needs and well-being

  • Honesty: to tell the truth, to demonstrate reliability and trustworthiness through actions that are in keeping with my stated positions and beliefs.

  • Respect: to treat others as I would want them to treat me, to value the worth of every person, including myself.

  • Responsibility: to do what is right–what I ought to do, to be accountable for my choices of behavior and actions and my promises.