Youth and Government
Youth and Government™ is a national program of the Y that involves thousands of teens nationwide in state-organized, model-government programs. Students from every corner of the U.S. have the opportunity to immerse themselves in experiential civic engagement and toquite literally, practice democracy. Teens from across every state meet in their local Youth and Government™ groups throughout the year to discuss and debate issues that affect citizens of their state and to propose legislation. The program culminates with teens serving as delegates at their state conference, debating bills on the floor of the legislature.

By being a part of our Youth and Government Program, teens learn to become responsible, civic-minded citizens who will be better able to understand and get involved in political and public affairs, develop public speaking skills, improve their writing and research skills and become empowered to advocate for their beliefs. Guided by the YMCA's four core values--caring, honesty, respect and responsibility, the program focuses on fostering debate and friendships between delegates free from the tension in modern politics, allowing students to develop themselves in a safe and supportive environment. Other outcomes will include: the opportunity to become significantly involved in social issues, explore careers in public service, develop self-confidence and self-expression, gain experience in political action, increase their ability to organize ideas clearly, concisely and persuasively along with giving individuals experience in the art of speechmaking and debate, enable the individual to learn to take defeat without discouragement and learn to be tolerant of others' points of view.

The program is open to 9th-12th graders in the communities that we serve.  
  • Metuchen Youth and Government

Get involved. Stay engaged.


With over 500 students from 26 different schools and branches of the YMCA, New Jersey Youth & Government is driven by its commitment to civic engagement. Each year, students come together to build and run their own legislative chambers, courts, lobby firms, response committees, and press initiatives. At YAG, delegates gain and develop the tools, perspectives, and community to take initiative wherever it leads.

Our Youth & Government Program will be launched in September 2020.

Participants are responsible for the costs of the State Conference and other related program fees, however, financial assistance is available for qualified families which is made possible through a grant from the New Jersey Bar Foundation.

For more information, contact:

Metuchen Branch
    Gabriella St. Fleur