Model Government Program

Youth In Government (YIG) is a YMCA program that offers students the opportunity to serve their schools and communities as part of a yearlong model government and leadership development process.

Since 1936, YMCA Youth In Government (YIG) has given students around the country the opportunity to serve as part of a youth-run, youth-led model government process. The Florida YMCA YIG program was founded in 1957, and for the past 59 years, our delegates have written legislation on state issues that impact their families, schools, YMCAs, and communities. Many of our student-authored bills have gone on to become state law and our program is proud to have alumni such as congressman Dennis Ross, State Representative Dean Cannon (former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives), and State Representative Seth McKeel.

Program Overview

Students write bills on issues facing Florida at weekly meetings and attend a statewide trip, State Assembly, in the spring to argue their ideas on the House and Senate floors of our State Capitol!

Junior and Senior Youth in Government

Juniors, grades 6–8, participate in the legislative program only and write “bills” on issues they’re passionate about in the state of Florida. Seniors, grades 9–12, participate in activities relating to the three branches of government and take an end-of-year trip to our State Capitol. There, they put on a model government process with 600+ teens from across Florida!

Delegates could debate their bill on the House and Senate floors on our Capitol building!


Our Youth in Government program is available at two of our YMCA locations and several Central Florida middle schools and high schools.

YMCA Family Centers

South Orlando YMCA

814 W Oak Ridge Rd
Orlando, FL 32809

Middle Schools & High Schools

Dr. Phillips High School

6500 Turkey Lake Rd
Orlando, FL 32819

Maitland Middle School

701 N Thistle Ln
Maitland, FL 32751

Windermere High School

5523 Winter Garden Vineland Rd
Windermere, FL 34786

Our Promise

Throughout the yearlong process, YIG works to build community leaders, prepare engaged citizens, and help with college readiness.

  • The YMCA YIG program, at all levels, is designed to help delegates understand that in order to lead, you must first learn how to serve others. This practice of servant leadership guides our program.
  • Our model government process is designed to prepare students for a life of engaged and active citizenship built on the values of civil debate, statesmanship, and research-based policy solutions.
  • Students can earn up to six college credits towards college by participating in the program for 2+ years through the Civic Fellows Program in partnership with the University of South Florida—St. Pete.

Youth In Government has transformed me; I am more empathetic, understanding, and open to new ideas.

Student Participant

My experiences have given me confidence in myself, and the ability to reach my dreams through future scholarships.

Student Participant

I was able to listen to people share their passions from all over the country, and also had the opportunity to pass my bill in the state’s youth cabinet.

Student Participant

Our Commitment

Your child’s safety is our priority. Find out more about our commitment to keeping kids safe.

Day Camp at the Y

Activities include weekly field trips, nature activities, arts and crafts, and so much more!

Get in Touch

Do you have a question about our Youth in Government program? Let us know!