Youth & Government
“Youth and Government gave me the opportunity to experience the workings of my government in a way a classroom never could have allowed me. Participants live the government rather than study it. Over my four years in the program, Youth and Government also helped me to develop leadership skills, as I came to take on greater levels of responsibility each year.” —Ian Zimmerman, Walpole (who, as a senior at FMRHS, was elected as Speaker of the House for NH Youth & Government)
Since 2006, we have partnered with Fall Mountain Regional High School civics teacher MaryTherese Lester to offer a YMCA Youth & Government program. Each year, FMRHS students come together with over 325 others from high schools across New Hampshire. Since 2007, our FMRHS/MWYMCA program has had the largest delegation in the state with over 30 participants each year.
The purpose of the YMCA Youth & Government Program is to prepare participants for moral and political citizenship in local, state, or national government roles. YMCA Youth and Government provides guidance, training and an experience in the American democratic process through the form of state government. The YMCA Youth & Government Program is based upon the Y’s core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.
The YMCA Youth & Government program in New Hampshire celebrated 50 years of history in 2003. The program serves 350 teens from 30 schools throughout New Hampshire. The program takes place in March/April and is held at the state capitol. Here students have an opportunity to experience state government by electing their own youth officials. Elected officials include: Governor, House Speaker, Senate President and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Other delegates participate as members of the House and Senate, Executive Council, Supreme Court, Lobbyists or Press Corp. Students are responsible for writing their own legislation prior to arriving in Concord. This legislation is compiled into a Billbook from which the work of the House and Senate committees is derived.
Check out our video with highlights from the '08-09 regional caucus, pre-legislative session, and model legislature.
For more information, please contact Sean Fortier, Meeting Waters YMCA Program Director.