Since 1947, Kansas 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 Kansas youth each year in various programs.
Youth and Government (YAG) is a student-driven simulation of state government, which involves Kansas youth in grades 9-12. Each year high school students from across the state assemble in Topeka for the Kansas YMCA Youth and Government State Conference. Together students create a legislative experience that approximates the real assembly in the chambers of the Kansas Capital. Students participate in legislative committees and present their bills in the chambers of the Senate or the House of Representatives. Students discover how bills are passed, vote on candidates, acquire skills for tough debates, improve public speaking and understand the coalition building process. All of these concepts allow individuals to develop leadership qualities that will follow them throughout their careers and the rest of their lives.
The Kansas YMCA Youth and Government program is operated by the Missouri State Alliance of YMCAs, with the YAG State Office being located in Jefferson City, Missouri. The Missouri State Alliance of YMCAs also operates the Missouri YMCA Youth and Government program. Membership in the YMCA, the organization that sponsors the Youth and Government program, is not required in order to participate in Youth and Government.