It is the mission of Minnesota YMCA Youth in Government programs to develop personal growth and encourage life-long, responsible citizenship by providing experiential learning for young people and by providing public forums to recognize the abilities and capabilities of youth.
Minnesota YMCA Youth in Government programs are organized throughout the state to serve grades 7-12. YIG is a simulation of state government. Students pick an area of interest and then assume the role of legislator, court of appeals lawyer, newspaper reporter, lobbyist, etc. Students prepare legislation, debate bills, write court briefs, and conduct oral arguments or dozens of other things as they prepare for their role. The program culminates with a fabulous four days of model assembly in January each year.
Training/Preparation meetings are held roughly once per week in the months of November and December prior to the January assembly. Your attendance at these meetings is mandatory …your membership in the Kandiyohi County Area Family YMCA YIG depends on it. Exceptions are made on a case by case basis. Individual work/prep time will vary depending on what role you decide to play. The more preparation you do, the more you will enjoy the program. But plan on at least 2-3 hours per week from the middle of October through December, and quite a few more if you are a court of appeals or Supreme Court lawyer.
•An understanding of local, state, national, and international concerns
•Research, study, and debate on public issues
•Exploration of careers in public service
•Interaction with adult and youth leaders involved in decision-making processes
•Appreciation for the diversity of viewpoints on public issues and a concurrent respect for ideas, beliefs and the positions of others