Branches of the Southeast Ventura County YMCA are accepting sign-ups for their Youth & Government programs. The programs are an opportunity for high school students to learn about the legislative process and what it takes to participate in such roles as elected officials, judges, lawyers, advocates, legislators, county supervisors and city council persons.
Youth & Government participants (delegates) typically prepare for and take part in a major conference in the legislative chambers at the State Capitol in Sacramento. Delegates convene from around the state. However, this year, the program will have a local slant with the focus on participating and advocating on a city and county level.
"The confluence of upcoming elections, a census, a public health crisis and a nationwide discussion on civil rights provides an amazing backdrop to empower our delegates with the tools to pursue changes they are passionate about," says Veronica Rodarte, lead advisor for the Miller YMCA Youth & Government (serving Newbury Park).
Youth & Government delegations are also forming through the Conejo Valley YMCA (serving Thousand Oaks and Moorpark) and the Yarrow Family YMCA (serving Westlake Village, Agoura and Oak Park). Delegates meet weekly from September through February. Locations are still being determined and participants have the option of meeting virtually.
Instead of traveling to Sacramento, the local delegations will hold three conferences in the Conejo Valley: in October, December and February. They may be held in-person or online depending on health and safety guidelines.
"Youth & Government delegates acquire such valuable skills that will assist them throughout their careers and lives," says Rodarte. "They master public speaking, team-building, critical analysis and leadership. They obtain an increased understanding of media literacy, civil discourse and coalition building. Just as important, they form life-long friendships and have lots fun along the way."
For more information about local Youth & Government delegations, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to https://www.sevymca.org/
, click on the Programs tab, Teen Programs and then the YMCA nearest you.
Information about the YMCA's Model United Nations program for middle schoolers will be available in January.