Youth in Government

Debate ideas, not People

Who We Are

Since 1936, YMCA Youth In Government, or “YIG” for short, has given students around the country the opportunity to serve as part of a youth-run, youth-led model government process. The Florida YMCA Youth In Government program was founded in 1957, and for more than 56 years our delegates have been actively engaged with the issues that impact their families, schools, YMCAs, and communities.

What We Do

Build Servant Leaders
The YMCA Youth In Government program, at all levels, is designed to help delegates understand that in order to lead, you must first learn how to serve others. This practice of servant leadership guides our program.

Prepare Engaged Citizens
Our model government process is designed to prepare students for a life of engaged and active citizenship built on the values of civil debate, statesmanship, and research-based policy solutions.

Goals and Benefits of the Program

Our programs are a part of the YMCA’s efforts to serve our communities through programs focused on Youth Development and Social Responsibility.  Additional Youth In Government program goals include:

  • Awareness of societal issues and solutions
  • Confidence in and dedication to the democratic process
  • Increased participative leadership skills and increased communication skills
  • Respect for diverse viewpoints
  • Accountability and respect for the rights of others
  • Application of moral and ethical values processes to public policy making
  • Enriching the formal education process with reality-based learning experiences
  • Career exposure for youth

Some of the many benefits of participating in Youth In Government include:

  • Opportunity to make a significant impact on the local communities
  • Community Service Hours: Through projects designed by our Youth Leadership Team, you will be able to earn hours you need for scholarships and to graduate. Students who serve in leadership roles typically earn 150+ hours per year!  Florida YIG is also an Official Certifying Organization for the President’s Volunteer Service Awards program.
  • College credits/course waivers:  Participating in YIG for 2+ years can qualify you to waive the required speech competency credit at Florida’s universities.  A savings of more than $700!
  • Exposure to elected officials and policy leaders
  • Recognition among peers for hard work, dedication, and a job well-done:  Among recognitions given at various statewide and national events
  • Mentoring opportunities and partnerships
  • Scholarships

For more information about Youth In Government visit floridayig.net/ or email Marisa Wetzel at mwetzel@vfymca.org.

Check out the YMCA’s Youth In Government Program online:


Mission Statement: To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

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