St. Paul, MN – The YMCA, a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, Feb. 27 will partner with several other youth-serving organizations to bring more than 500 students in grades 6-12 from 53 Minnesota communities to the Minnesota State Capitol to meet with legislators and practice advocacy.

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 officials. Different than many other “days on the hill,” Youth Day at the Capitol is unique in that participa­nts identify their own local issues of concern.

“Our goal is to help young people understand the advocacy process and learn the skills needed to be effective advocates for issues that matter to them,” said Amy Anderson, executive director of the YMCA Center for Youth Voice. "Young people from different communities will likely end up focusing on different policy issues. The common thread is that every young person will have the opportunity to meet with local community elected officials and discuss hometown issues. That is a very powerful experience."

"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."

In the morning, members of the Minnesota Youth Council will lead hour-long workshops for all participants on advocacy strategies and best practices. At 11:35 a.m., all participants will march to the State Capitol and gather for a photo on the Capitol steps. They will spend the afternoon meeting with legislators and Minnesota's constitutional officers, voting in a mock presidential primary election, attending actual committee hearings and learning about additional civic engagement opportunities for youth.

The YMCA Center for Youth Voice leads YDAC in partnership with the Minnesota Alliance with Youth, the Minnesota Secretary of State's Office, Minnesota Community Education Association, Minnesota Prevention Alliance, YWCA Minneapolis, Health Partners Teen Leadership Council and the Minnesota History Center.

YMCA Center for Youth Voice

Youth Day at the Capitol 2024

Feb. 27 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

  • 9 a.m. – noon: Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102
  • Noon – 3 p.m.: Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155

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