“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.
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 in Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties are invited to participate in the Youth in Government program, and join our student delegation.
YMCA of the Treasure Coast actively hosts YIG Programs in all 3 Martin County High School Sites (Martin, South Fork and Jensen) as well as 4 Middle School Sites (Hidden Oaks, Murray, Stuart and Anderson). Each of these programs run from September-April. They are led by YMCA YIG Advisors at each site, all reporting to Don Welch, YMCA YIG Program Director. Students pay a one-time registration fee to participate at their school and then opt to participate in YIG trips for Fall District Conference and/or State Assembly. Individual school advisors will communicate program payment due dates and amounts with students during their club meeting times.