Youth Day at the Capitol (YDAC) is an annual event where hundreds of students from across the state come together to learn how to effectively advocate for an issue of their choosing and practice those advocacy skills during a meeting with their local elected official(s).

This year, YDAC was originally scheduled for February 23 but the event had to be cancelled because of a snowstorm. It was rescheduled for April 17 during which more than 300 secondary students came together to learn about advocacy, hear from Minnesota’s Constitutional Officers and meet with their local legislators.

Youth Day at the Capitol

Different than many other “days on the hill,” YDAC is unique in that youth participants aren’t given a list of predetermined legislative priorities. Rather, they start the day by working in their delegation to identify issues that impact their local community. Youth advocates from Minneapolis will likely end up focusing on different issues than youth advocates from Big Lake or Duluth, for example. All participants attend a one-hour, youth-led “Advocacy Best Practices” workshop and then have the opportunity to practice those skills in small pre-arranged meetings with their local elected official(s).

“I didn’t realize that legislators are willing to meet with people, even young people,” said 2023 YDAC participant Thay See from Como High School. “Now I know that anytime my family or I am concerned about something in our community, we know how to reach out and meet with them about it.”

The Center for Youth Voice leads YDAC in partnership with the Minnesota Alliance with Youth, Minnesota Community Education Association, Minnesota Prevention Alliance, YWCA Minneapolis, the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office and the Minnesota History Center. 

Getting Started

Teachers, school administrators, or youth leaders who are interested in bringing a group of young people and who need more information can reach out to Michael Wall at or 612-263-9893.

2023 YDAC Schedule

Attendees arrive at the Minnesota History Center

9-9:45/10-10:45 am (one of each, assigned)

a) Interactive small-group session on how to be an effective advocate

  • Led by Minnesota Youth Council Student Representatives
  • Best practices for talking to policy makers

b) Explore the History Center exhibits (current exhibits include Sherlock Holmes, Our Home: Native Minnesota, Minnesota’s Greatest Generation, Weather Permitting, Then Now Wow, and Grainland).

11-11:30 am
Panel Discussion/Presentation in the History Center 3M Auditorium

Group March to the Capitol, followed by lunch and student meetings with legislators.

Youth Day at the Capitol will conclude at 4pm.

Planning Resources for 2023

Free Capitol Tours

Lunch Options

Accessibility Information

Please email with any questions. We look forward to seeing you there!

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