St. Paul, MN – The YMCA, a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, will welcome 1,550 students in grades eight through 12 to the Minnesota State Capitol January 9-12 for the YMCA Center for Youth Voice’s Youth in Government program.

At the 66th Youth in Government session, the state’s largest hands-on civic education event, participants from 56 delegations take on roles as legislators, lobbyists, lawyers, judges, justices and journalists and practice open government without the confines of partisanship. Youth in Government brings together a variety of students from across the state to share their perspectives.

  • 11 percent of students come from Minneapolis and St. Paul, 66 percent come from the suburban Twin Cities, and 23 percent come from greater Minnesota
  • 60 percent of participants are female
  • 30 percent are students of color – matching the state average for youth of color in Minnesota

“Youth in Government helps students learn about current issues facing Minnesota,” said Orville Lindquist, state program executive for the YMCA Center for Youth Voice. “They also learn to listen to each other while they share their own experiences, in an environment based on respect and with an emphasis on allowing all perspectives to be heard.”

There will be over 400 bills debated by the Youth Legislature and its committees including topics such as:

  • Homelessness in Minnesota
  • Education – testing, college tuition, school funding, achievement gap
  • Government – change Electoral College, police reform and regulation
  • Health – medical marijuana, affordable healthcare
  • Transportation – helmet laws, funding for roads and/or mass transit
  • Consumer Affairs – regulate weapons, net neutrality
  • Ecology – renewable energy, public lands

Students elect their peers to leadership roles within each branch of government. The 2020 youth governor is David Scheerer, a senior from the Red Wing delegation, and the 2020 youth lieutenant governor is Justin Scheerer, a senior from Red Wing delegation. David and Justin are identical twins.

YMCA Center for Youth Voice

66th Minnesota YMCA Youth in Government Session

Minnesota State Capitol Complex, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard, St. Paul, MN 55155

Sessions will be held at the Capitol Complex at the following times – photo opportunities:
Friday, January 10, 2020 and Saturday January 11, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 12, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Special Note and Photo Opportunity: Thursday, January 9, 2020 at 3:30 p.m.-4:15 p.m. in the Minnesota House of Representatives Chamber - Opening Joint Convention where the session formally begins; the Youth Governor is sworn in and gives the State of the State address.

About the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities
The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities is a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.  Established 164 years ago, the Ys provide life-strengthening services across the greater Twin Cities metro region, southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin communities.  The 29 Y locations and program sites, eight overnight camps, 10 day camps, and more than 90 child care sites engage more than 370,000 men, women and children of all ages, incomes and backgrounds.  To learn more about the Y’s mission and work, visit