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Youth in Government

Youth in Government Program Overview

Youth in Government provides an immersive experience for high school students to participate directly in the democratic process through Model Assembly, a program meant to replicate the Minnesota legislative and judicial branches. The State YMCA Youth In Government (YIG) program provides about 1600 high school students with a unique opportunity to become acting state legislators, lobbyists, lawyers, committee chairs, etc. The students will simulate all phases and positions that the actual state government calls for. These students are challenged with many of the issues our real legislators must face in their elected offices.

Youth from throughout the state are selected as delegates from student councils, government classes or YMCAs and spend months researching for the event. These students then may go through an election process for leadership positions in the House, Senate, as well as the executive branch. They work in chambers to introduce, debate, and vote on proposed legislative bills which have been written by the youth legislators in their hometowns.

The Model Assembly is held during the winter of each year after local Youth In Government groups and delegations have been formed. Delegates to the conference elect youth officers for the model executive, legislative and judicial session. Nominating speeches, balloons, and countless pieces of campaign literature are distributed to the delegates. Elections occur by individual ballot. 

Students in grades 8-12 are invited to attend!

YMCA Financial Assistance Application

Email Autumn Warden at for more information.

2021 Information Meeting

Testimonials from a YIG students:

"I did this program for five years and I love it with my whole heart. We are a big program but we really are a family. It was such a gift to be able to learn from people I admire, and I strongly advise anybody who is interested to join." -YIG student

"Please go do YIG. It is one of my highlights of the year and it is just an amazing way to have fun and meet new people. please do it you will not regret it." -Josh Larson

"Amazing, not only did I further my public speaking skills, but I meet new people, learn new skills and even further other skills that I already have. It gives you a feeling of independence." - Morgan James

"By the end of the conference, you'll do it again for the people, environment, and culture of Youth in Government." - Christine Kitoy

Shakopee Delegation Director Autumn Warden

Phone: 496-5028

Shakopee YIG Chair (President) Sophia DaCosta

Want more info?

If you are interested in more information about Youth in Government, please visit the Center for Youth Voice website or contact Autumn Warden at