Youth and Government (YG) is a student-driven simulation of state government, which involves 1000 Missouri youth in grades 8-12. Beginning in the fall of each year, students come together in their local delegations to choose their roles, register and prepare for the State Convention. At the State Convention, students create their version of state government under the guidelines of the Missouri Constitution. All participants in Missouri come together for this three-day event at the State Capitol. Legislators meet in committees and in the House and Senate chambers to debate legislation. Attorneys try their cases before student judges and engage in a moot trial competition. The entire event is covered by a student newspaper, published four times in three days, and by a student television news program that airs several times each day. Participants also engage in campaigns and elections for officers who will serve during the following year.
Since 1949, Missouri YMCA Youth and Government has provided students with the opportunity to develop leadership skills and experience democracy. Based on the motto “Democracy Must Be Learned By Each Generation”, Youth and Government is a statewide educational program that involves over 900 Missouri youth each year in various programs.
The Missouri YMCA Youth and Government program is operated by the Missouri State Alliance of YMCAs, with the YIG State Office being located in Jefferson City. Membership in the YMCA, the organization that sponsors the Youth and Government program, is not required in order to participate in Youth and Government.