Minnesota secondary students to learn, practice democracy at Minnesota State Capitol

St. Paul, MN – The YMCA, a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, Jan. 4-7 will host 1,300 students in grades eight through 12 for the Youth in Government conference at the Minnesota State Capitol.

At the 70th annual Youth in Government conference, participants will take on roles as legislators, lobbyists, lawyers, judges, justices and journalists and spend four days running a state model government at the Capitol Complex. The YMCA’s Youth in Government program allows students to elect their own leaders, debate their own ideas and build a vision for a strong state.

“Young people in Youth in Government are leaders, organizers, speakers and decision-makers,” said Amy Anderson, executive director of the YMCA Center for Youth Voice. “Participating in Youth in Government gives them the opportunity to spend four days with other young people interested in government and our society, building the skills to take action in their local communities. When we help youth understand the topics they are passionate about in the context of the policymaking process, we give them the tools to transform the world into a better, more just place.”

Youth leadership is a hallmark of YMCA Youth in Government. Eighteen youth officers, elected by their peers, will lead all sessions. Approximately 125 appointed officials assist the officers in providing forums for exchange of ideas and respectfully discussing potential solutions.

WHO:        YMCA Center for Youth Voice

WHAT:      70th annual Youth in Government conference

WHERE:    Minnesota State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155

WHEN:      Jan. 4-7
                  *Sessions offering photo opportunities will be held at the Capitol Complex as follows:
                  Friday, Jan. 5, and Saturday, Jan. 6, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
                  Contact: Amy Anderson, 651-955-1679

About the YMCA of the North

The YMCA of the North is a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Established 168 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 www.ymcanorth.org.