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Youth Government Programs

Model United Nations Program

For Middle School Students

California YMCA Youth & Government has offered the Model United Nations (MUN) program to middle school students throughout the state since 2001. Middle school students or “ambassadors” come together in delegations and participate in the program with peers from across California. They are given the opportunity to discuss international issues, discover other cultures, develop life-enhancing skills, and make new friends. The three-month program includes two in-person events*, a 1-day training and the culminating 2-night Model United Nations Summit.  There, delegates represent assigned countries as ambassadors and work to solve global issues with the skills they have acquired.

*There will be one of each conference in Northern California and Southern California.



Students  participate in the program through their local delegations. Delegations are formed through YMCAs, schools, or other youth-affiliated programs. Delegations are encouraged to host weekly meetings that begin in January, and are led by an adult Advisor. Within their delegations, delegates research, debate and establish policies, treaties and resolutions. The main focus for the 23rd MUN will be the Sustainable Development Goals as we pass by the midpoint of the timeline for the 17 goals.

Some groups may hold their weekly meetings virtually while others will be in person. This will depend on the local guidelines of each delegation so be sure to check with your local YMCA regarding their in person meeting policies.

Cost: This program is FREE for all students enrolled in our CAPS and/or ASES programs.


Model Legislature & Court

For High School Students

For over 75 years, California YMCA Youth & Government has provided high school youth throughout California an experiential learning program by modeling California’s legislature and courts. The program offers teen youth participants from around the state the opportunity to collaborate with others, make new friends, and build skills such as critical thinking, persuasive public speaking, writing and research. Youth & Government is rooted in the YMCA’s core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility and is a platform for social responsibility, servant leadership and personal development. We strive to offer a program where everyone feels a sense of belonging and that we help to support the spirit, mind and body of every individual. Our goal is to nurture the next generation of civically engaged Californians so that they recognize the importance  of:

Civic Knowledge: They understand the structure, function, and procedures of the California Legislature, including bill development.
Civic Awareness: They can identify the major issues facing their communities.
Civic Action: They are equipped with the tools they’ll need to make change in their community and can identify the importance of mutual respect, personal responsibility, and active listening in group settings.

The Model Legislature & Court brings together more than 1,300 youth participants representing over 60 delegations across California. Delegates will convene on a weekly basis at local delegation meetings. The program will include in-person events in November and February that allow participants the opportunity to put their training into action as they assume their given roles. Legislation is debated and court cases are decided, as students apply skills they have gained in the program.

Our delegate driven program includes many opportunities for teens to experience true leadership.  Our program is led by our Youth Governor, Secretary of State, and Chief Justice with support and guidance from our more than 100 dedicated volunteers. 

Cost: $250 per student for an entire year ands is open to the community.

For Additional Information Contact:

Autumn Lozano - Camp and Community Program Director
[email protected] or (909)425-9622