Middle School

New York Youth And Government (YAG) is a three-day experiential learning conference in which students participate directly in a simulation of the State’s democratic process. Acting as Senators and Assembly Members, students write, debate, and vote on legislation that affects them. Officers elected by students serve as Governor, Speaker of the Assembly, President of the Senate, and are appointed to other conference leadership positions. During the entire process students are supported by YMCA professionals, teachers, advisors, alumni, parents, and volunteers. YAG offers students the opportunity to learn about a wide variety of issues, develop critical thinking skills, and articulate their beliefs while engaging constructively with those who hold like and opposing views.

Youth And Government is a national government and politics program that promotes civic literacy as well as community service.

Legislation first proposed in Youth And Government now is seen in more than three hundred actual laws in states throughout the country, including those that:

  • Require signal lights at railroad crossings
  • Reclaim strip mined land
  • Hold 18 year olds responsible for contracts they sign
  • Create the white line on the side of the road
  • Establish “right turn on red”
  • Established Special Education
  • Provide for driver’s education
  • Promote campaign finance reform
  • Provide for medical malpractice reform.
  • Ratification of the 26thAmendment to the Constitution of the United States granting the vote to 18 year olds.