“PASSION, NOT POLITICS.”
In order to lead, you must first learn to serve. That’s what Clement Duran believed when, in 1936, he launched the YMCA Youth in Government program in Albany, NY. Today, about 50,000 high school students throughout the country participate in YIG, a youth-run, youth-led model of civic engagement and service learning.
YIG began in Florida in 1957, providing high school students with the opportunity to participate in a model government process in Tallahassee. Once a year, our student delegates take on roles encompassing all the key elements of government involved in creating, debating, and implementing legislation.
The annual Youth in Government State Assembly includes Youth Senators and House Representatives who meet in the legislative chambers to debate bills they have written and sponsored during the program year.
“DEBATE IDEAS, NOT PEOPLE.”
The YIG Assembly is a full-scale model of government that offers student delegates the opportunity to serve as members of the Legislative Branch, Judicial Branch, the Press Corps and more. The Treasure Coast delegation began with Martin County High School, South Fork High School and Community Christian Academy students, but all high schools and middle schools in Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties are invited to participate in the Youth in Government program, and join our student delegation.
Senior YIG: High School
Our high school program, Sr. YIG, is a yearlong extracurricular experience. More than 600 high school students travel to Tallahassee annually to serve as senators, representatives, attorneys, justices, executive agency heads, legislative affairs directors, and legislative whips within our model government simulation.
Junior YIG: Middle School
In our middle school program, Jr. YIG, participants may attend the Junior Assembly. Assembly delegates take on the role of state senators and representatives as they guide their own ideas through the model legislative process. High school students act in the role of mentor, teaching middle school delegates all that they need to know!
YMCA of the Treasure Coast hosts a Junior YIG program for middle school students and a Senior YIG program for high school students at our Stuart Branch, 1700 SE Monterey Road, on Tuesday 5:30-6:30pm from August through May. Contact Kendall Palmer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Students pay a one-time $60 registration fee to participate and then opt to participate in YIG trips for Fall District Conference and/or State Assembly. 2022/2023 Assembly is scheduled to be back in-person this year! Additional assembly and travel fees will apply in order to participate. All registration and payments can be made here or through our YMCA Treasure Coast App.
What a $60 Membership to the Y’s Treasure Coast YIG includes:
• A 2022/2023 School Year Member of the largest YIG Delegation
• YMCA Student Membership with access to Fitness Center, Pool, Gym and Fit Zone through May ‘23
• Weekly YIG Meetings and Trainings at the YMCA of the Treasure Coast
• Monthly Delegation support
• State Assembly Prep (Assembly fees not included)
Poetry Baker first joined our YIG program in middle school after her civics teacher, who was the Program Director at the time, told her about how she would be able to work on court cases and even go to Tallahassee to the Supreme Court and the State Capital to argue these cases.
YIG has introduced Poetry to a lot of her now long time friends and has given her the opportunity to travel all over the state of Florida and tour the state capital on two different occasions as well as the Supreme Court. Our YIG program has helped boost her confidence and taught her a lot about how our court system and government makes decisions and how it is supposed to be run since YIG is a model government and not based on how our real government is managed. Poetry is looking forward to all that our YIG program has to offer again this year!