What is Youth in Government?
The Wisconsin Youth in Government programs seeks to foster the next generation of thoughtful, committed, and active citizens. Leaders are developed by doing. Youth participants learn the principles of a democratic society by engaging with their peers in the process of civil action.
The program is open to all students in grades 7-12 and engages hundreds of students from across the state each year. Individual delegations meet starting in the fall and the program culminates with a weekend-long trip to the state capitol in Madison for our Model Government session.
Why should you sign up?
- It’s a fun, challenging, non-partisan program.
- It is a student-run program with lots of opportunities for leadership.
- You get to meet new people and make new friends from across the state!
- You get to spend a weekend in downtown Madison, sitting in the same seats that our legislators do.
- You get to express yourself and practice the fine art of debating.
- You get to form your own opinions and find your voice!
- It helps you to build confidence and character.
- It’s a great resume-builder.
- It’s the experience of a lifetime!
What would you have to do?
Youth in government participants, called “delegates,” are given the option in participating in one of three main program areas:
Legislative (Assembly & Senate)
Delegates in the legislative branch research and write their own bills that will be debated and voted upon at Model Government in Madison. Bills are one-page proposals on any subject that you’d like to see changed in society!
Delegates in the Supreme Court play the dual role of lawyer and justice. Delegates are each assigned a case and a position and must write a brief defending their position, and will also service as justices on the court bench.
Delegates in the Press Corps act as journalists and visit with all of the areas throughout the program in order to create their own newspaper and multimedia content.
There is also an executive branch, which is made up of students elected into the positions of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Secretary of State.
Is YIG the right fit for you?
- Are you taking classes in or studying Government, History or Civics?
- Do you have a passion for Forensics, Debate Club or journalism?
- Do you have an idea of what you would want to see changed in society?
- Do you want to express yourself and your ideas?
- Are you looking to meet teens with similar interests to yours from across the state and have a great time practicing the law-making process?
Anyone in grades 7-12 looking for a new, fun experience can sign up for Youth in Government. There is no prerequisite class and you don’t need to have a previous knowledge of anything political. Youth in Government is for everyone!
Delegation meets Sundays at 1:00-3:00pm at Lussier Family East YMCA.
YIG runs on a non-profit basis; all fees go into the program in order to rent meeting space, provide transportation, etc.
Fees for the entire 5-month program typically total around $240, including bus and hotel fees for the Model Government trip to Madison.
However, this being said, delegates are not turned away from the Youth in Government program due to inability to pay. We do a number of student-selected fund raisers throughout the year and there is financial assistance available.
The Y is committed to allowing ALL students the opportunity to be involved in this great program, regardless of financial situation. Please contact the Delegation Director for more information.
Join our group on Facebook!