Middle School (JuniorYG) Program Overview

Our middle school program invites hundreds of students from all over Texas to participate in one of three program sections at our annual Junior Youth and Government State Conference in Austin: Legislative, State Affairs Forum, or Governor’s Cabinet. The JuniorYG program is intended to introduce our younger students to how the program works and prepare them to participate fully in the larger high school program when they enter the 9th grade.

Legislative

State Affairs Forum

Governor’s Cabinet and Lobbyist

Media

2022-2023 Junior Youth and Government State Officers

Meika Kuns

Youth Governor

LEGISLATIVE

The Legislative section of JuniorYG introduces participants to identifying issues for legislation, bill writing, debating, bill presentation, and participation in a legislative body. Participants prepare legislation (bills, or sometimes joint resolutions) in their clubs for consideration, debate, and action at the District and State Conferences. At the District Conference, Hearing Committees consider each bill and take appropriate action. At the State Conference, all bills are heard first in a committee, and some bills then advance to be heard again by a larger audience in the House and/or Senate chambers. Bills that pass both chambers are sent to the Junior Youth Governor for their consideration.

Our goal for our Legislative participants is to acquire valuable experience in writing, researching, and debating mock legislation in a process that closely mirrors the process of our Texas Legislature. This experience increases awareness both of how our state government works and pertinent current events.

STATE AFFAIRS FORUM

State Affairs Forum is designed to broaden participants’ knowledge of pre-selected current events topics. State Affairs Forum uses the structure of committee hearings with parliamentary procedure where students propose solutions to important current issues.  It encourages debate on these solutions and thereby fosters an in-depth understanding of the topics at hand. Delegates are encouraged to be vocal, listen intently, and participate as much as possible.

Our goal for our State Affairs Forum participants is for them to understand well-formulated solutions (not legislation) for major problems facing Texas and the national/international community, furthering their holistic understanding of news events and empowering them to speak intelligently about feasible ways to address such problems.

GOVERNOR'S CABINET AND LOBBYIST

Our Governor’s Cabinet section works directly with our Junior Youth Governor.  The Junior Youth Governor sets a legislative agenda for the State Conference. He or she then works with the Cabinet to lobby in the Legislative chambers for his or her agenda, which is comprised of specific bills or issues he or she would like to see debated and acted upon.

Our goal for our Governor’s Cabinet section is for participants to engage professionally with one another in discussing legislation about which the Junior Youth Governor is passionate and to persuade Legislative delegates to feel similarly or differently. Participants will be able to attempt to accomplish their own goals respectfully while assisting our Junior Youth Governor.  They will also develop debate and technical skills related to lobbying or working in the state government.