Starting a Youth In Government program like most things at your YMCA is best handled one step at a time. 

First a few questions…

  • Is there a local school or other youth group with enough interest in YIG to support its own Chapter?
  • Is there a teacher or community willing to donate his or her time and energies to making sure that the teens have a quality experience?
  • Is the local school and school district willing to have Youth In Government as part of their extra-curricular roster?

Answering these questions will give you a base knowledge for YIG’s place in your Y’s service area.

In addition, contact the State Office to arrange to attend a State Assembly, Jr. Assembly or Fall Delegate Convention the program year prior to beginning your own Chapters.

If you are unable to do either, contact the State Office for materials (brochures, RedBooks, manuals, commercials, videos, etc.), contact information of local alumni, as well as their expertise and guidance. The State Office is your resource to assist with the basic set-up, training, and development of new or struggling Chapters in your area.

You may also consider starting with a few 8th graders and requesting that they be attend our high School State Assembly as Pages.  These students are then great recruitment resources for a Jr. YIG Chapter and the base for your high school program.  Keep in mind that Civics is being taught in 7th grade as the Social Studies component and this provides a unique opportunity for the Y to partner with local schools as a resource.

Also remember that often times a local Y branch will become the home of the YIG Chapter in the area.  This will allow for recruitment from multiple schools and the Y to concentrate its resources – time and talents – on one unified group.  This set-up may make a seemingly daunting process more accessible.