Through Youth and Government programs, students can better understand and get involved in political and public affairs, develop their public speaking, improve their writing and research skills, and be empowered to advocate for their beliefs. YAG fosters debate and friendships between delegates free from the tension in modern politics, allowing students to develop in a safe and supportive environment.
Pennsylvania Youth and Government is the only student-run, student-led model government experience of its kind in Pennsylvania. Serving 600+ students across the Commonwealth, our student leaders become active participants in the legislative, judicial, and executive processes in Pennsylvania.
Students will act as Representatives or Senators, and will write bills, debate, and pass legislation to be signed by the Youth Governor. This program is open to students from 7 - 12 grade.
The PA YAG program in 2024 begins in February with weekly meetings focused on writing legislation, and culminates with a conference held in Harrisburg, PA in April. Students will work together with other delegates and advisors to create bills which they will debate on during the final conference. The goal is to pass bills through the House or Senate chambers and eventually be signed by the Youth Governor.
The following are the weekly meeting schedules for our delegations:
- Ambler Y - Mondays from 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
- Christian Street Y - Tuesdays from 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
- Spring Valley Y - Thursdays from 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
- West Philadelphia Y - Wednesdays from 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
2024 Conferences & Important Events
- April 18 - 21: YAG Conference in Harrisburg, PA
New Jersey YAG
Students attending the NJ YAG conference get an opportunity to enhance what they would learn in a traditional civics class by actively simulating the entire process legislation follows before becoming law. Delegates can participate as senators, assemblypeople, justices and lawyers, media members, and more. Throughout the program, students are mentored by a dedicated volunteer staff of NJ YAG alumni studying and working in various fields.
The NJ YAG program begins in the winter of each year after students return from winter break. After joining their school or YMCA delegation, delegates will learn about the state legislative process and draft a bill for conference. While at conference, delegates engage in public speaking and debate in support of their bill to encourage fellow legislators to vote to pass.
2024 Conferences & Important Events
- March 10: Pre-Legislative Session (Virtual)
- March 19 - April 2: TBD
- April 2: TBD
- April 12 - 14: YAG Conference at the Hilton Woodcliff Lake in Woodcliff Lake, NJ
Are you ready to be part of one of our amazing YAG clubs? Learn more about taking the next steps in joining the program below.
Become a YAG delegate!
Join a YAG Program at your local YMCA branch! Fill out the interest form by clicking the button below.
PA YAG is available at the following GPY branches:
- Ambler Y
- Boyertown Y
- Christian Street Y
- Spring Valley Y
- West Philadelphia Y
NJ YAG is available at the following GPY branches:
- Mt. Laurel Y
Don’t have a Y branch local to you? Email our team to find out how to start your own delegation!
Frequently Asked Questions
Most students participate through their school or YMCA YAG Club. If your school doesn’t have a club, email our team to find out how to start one!
Yes! Students who live in NJ will attend the NJ Youth & Government Conference, and students who live in PA attend the PA Youth & Government Conference. Contact our team for more information.
Yes! Please email our team for an application.