By: Victoria Córdova
Youth in Government was established in 1948 in Colorado and since then, has been a wonderful experience and opportunity for students attending high school. This program is a way to gather students from across the country, and have their knowledge combined to debate in situations that actual senators, representatives, legislators, and other roles in the government have to do. It gives students the opportunity to have their voices heard and create a community to help themselves, and others.
How do think YIG benefits you as a person?
While interviewing different people in committees, it has been apparent that Youth in Government can improve students’ confidence and their ability to debate their opinions on topics that they are passionate about. Representative Jose Flores, from the delegate of Gateway High School, answered the question by stating, “In Aurora, we tend to be more left leaning politically, considering the fact that it’s more diverse, it helps me see how people from different parts of the states, state their own opinions that could be different from mine.” This program benefits students tremendously in terms of learning new facets of government, thinking critically, and helping with how to compromise and understand someone else’s point of view. Communication skills are also gained and that makes students more engaged and aids their understanding of different opinions from other students around the state.
Does YIG help you get a better chance to enforce or change social issues?
Being part of this program, personally, definitely gives me a better understanding on how to state my opinion. “There are a lot of intelligent students in my chamber [Senate] and I feel like everybody debating and discussing could help others to have their opinion and work hard to change something they believe needs to be changed” stated Senator Cruz.
Can YIG help you get to your path in your future career?
Speaking for the rest of this program, it is safe to say that even though many do not know their plans for the future, this program can help those who want to work in different government levels or socializing when going into different career paths. In other words, it can inspire students to become more involved with politics or even reach outside their comfort zones, and have something similar to what they have learned in YIG.”Personally, I don’t know what to do yet, but this really does give me an insight to branch off from what I’ve learned to use that, to give me an inspiration” explained Senator Cruz.
How much did you gain from this program?
Dylan Ker Representative, has spoken on his personal experiences and by comparing his thoughts and others I have interviewed, majority of this program has gained so much with confidence, communicating with other students and just overall respect for others opinions. Representative Ker discussed on behalf of his committee and for most who would agree,”I gained so much these past three days. First day was hectic. I didn’t know a clue on what was going on and by the end of the day, I knew how bills worked, every position, state my opinion, political procedure, etc. I learned so much in one day and being here, on day three, it showed me and taught me a lot about how our government works.” As well as Lt. Perley-Schiele, describes how she is now more social, confident, and “more knowledge” within the YIG program. It comes to show that the YMCA Youth in Government is a community that excels for students across the state to absorb and act on this process.
Advice for this who are interested in participating:
-Senator Cruz said, “It’s a no question if you’re really into it [government or politics]. If you’re not sure yet or if you think it’s interesting it’s something you should do. It’s a fun experience, you get to learn a lot, and see how the process works in the real situations.”
-“I say definitely do it. Don’t think about it. Don’t hesitate, it doesn’t matter what you join into, just do it because it’s a great experience no matter what position your in. You’re gonna find something you want to do and that will help you” explained Lt. Governer Perley-Schiele.
-“Just sign up as soon as possible because Not being able to was a mistake of mine. I regret not being able to be a part of it throughout my high school experience. Because this is the most fun experiences I’ve had in my school” said Representative Kerr.
The whole idea to create this program was to gather students from across the country and have their knowledge combined to debate in situations that actual Senators, Representatives, Legislators, and different roles into the government have to do. It gives students the passion to have their voices heard and create a community to help themselves and others.