Youth and Government
Model legislature and court program
California YMCA Youth & Government's Model Legislature & Court (MLC) has been the state's premier youth leadership and civic development program since 1948. The MLC creates a six-month learning-by-doing experience that teaches the values of democracy by bringing together a cross-section of the state's high school students. This program provides them with the opportunity to experience government first-hand and to learn how to solve community problems through the democratic process as well as debate and discuss issues with their peers from throughout California.
The Sacramento Central YMCA's delegation welcomes all interested students in grades 9-12 who want to learn more about state government, meet 3,200 new friends from around California, travel, and generally have the time of their lives while adding fabulous experience to their resumes.
The program year runs from August through February each year. We currently have delegations meeting in Sacramento, El Dorado Hills, and western Nevada County. Sign up for our mailing list and be the first to hear about our 2019-20 program year: http://bit.ly/CapCoInterest.
Delegates attend three main conferences each year. The first two training conferences are held in Fresno, CA.
The program culminates with the Model Legislature and Court held in Sacramento. Delegates stay in a four-star, downtown hotel and put to use their skills and training during a 5-day simulated legislative and court session.
All conferences are schedule to take advantage of 3-day weekends to minimize time away from school. Y&G is also a recognized, approved absence in the Education Code, so students cannot be penalized for attending.
Once in Sacramento, the bills developed by delegations during the fall are debated in committees, then on the floor of the Assembly and Senate and, if passed, sent to the Youth Governor. Students participate in program areas replicating every aspect of state government - as well as program areas dedicated to national and international issues. These program areas include: the Supreme, Appellate, and Trial Courts, Media, Lobbyists, Board of Education, the State Constitutional Convention, Department of Finance, the National Issues Commission, and more!
Dylan O'Tarrow, Youth & Government Coordinator