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Westside Family YMCA

YMCA Texas Youth and Government is a statewide, youth led, civic engagement program for high school and middle school students. It is an exciting hands-on experience in the mechanics of the state legislative and judicial process of government along with print and broadcast media.


To help teenagers become responsible citizens and future leaders of our nation. 


To create an environment in which students can increase their political awareness and understanding, while learning the meaning of social action through an actual experience in government. 


YMCA Texas Youth & Government means many different things to many different people. Some see it as a way to help young people learn about the workings of state, national and international governments. Others think that it is an excellent forum for students to explore the concerns, opportunities and diverse perspectives that touch our world. Many underscore the experiential learning opportunities the program offers. All of these aspects combine to make YMCA Texas Youth & Government a truly remarkable educational experience. Ultimately, YMCA Texas Youth & Government programs help mold character in students with a strong focus on leadership development and civic engagement. 

YMCA Youth & Government is a national YMCA program, active in approximately 36 states. The first Youth and Government program took place in 1936 in New York – Texas Program began in 1946. Today, nearly 25,000 students annually take part in state Youth & Government conferences, nationwide (including Model State Government and Model United Nations conferences), with 3,300 adult volunteers and YMCA staff serving as adult advisors. Many of these advisors were involved throughout their high school career and return as adults to help “give back” to a new generation of youth leaders.

Youth delegates will:

  • Study and debate public issues
  • Experience the Judicial branch of our state government
  • Write a legislative bill
  • Participate in a Youth Legislature
  • Produce the State Y&G news broadcast
  • Edit the State Y&G newspaper

Students across the state of Texas participate in their local District Conference in Austin, TX in November and culminate the experience in a four-day State conference in late January again in Austin, Texas.

For more information on how you can get involved, please call 210-433-6391.

Support the leaders of tomorrow, today! 

The Youth in Government experience would not be possible without the financial support of alumni, businesses and friends of the programs. Each year, the YMCA raises funds through our Y Partners campaign. These funds directly support students statewide, to address critical needs and provide scholarships so that no one is turned away from Youth in Government programs due to financial need. At YMCA Youth in Government, all of our programs incorporate the four core values of the YMCA: caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.

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YMCA Mission

To put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs
that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

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