Want to be part of Youth & Government this year? Contact - wchandler@ymcaokc.org





Youth & Government provides a real-life classroom environment for democracy.


Click on the branch links to learn more about our high school student programs.

Middle School

Our middle school program introduces students to Youth & Government while giving them experience in public service, speaking, and servant leadership that will last a lifetime.


Our volunteers are essential to our program's mission to provide hands-on education in democracy.

About Our Program



The Y's Youth and Government™ program is a national program that involves thousands of teens nationwide in state-organized, model-government programs. Students from every corner of the U.S. have the opportunity to immerse themselves in experiential civic engagement and practice democracy. Teens from across every state meet in their local Youth and Government clubs and at statewide events throughout the year to discuss and debate issues that affect citizens of their state through proposed legislation, participation in mock trials, or journalistic reporting. A club can be held at their local school, YMCA, church or homeschool group.  Local clubs can meet monthly, weekly, or quarterly.  Throughout the year, we will provide opportunites for regional training, club officer training, and recruitment.  All students will attend a District Conference in their region to qualify for State Conference.  The program culminates with teens serving as delegates at the State Conference, debating bills on the floor of the legislature, arguing cases before state courts, and creating various media publications.



The year 2017-18 marks the 67th anniversary of the Oklahoma YMCA Youth and Government™ program.  Since the beginning of the program, over 15,600 students have been involved with this unique leadership experience. 


To create an environment in which students can increase their political awareness and understanding, while learning the meaning of social action through an actual experience in government.

To enhance the development of the American democratic process by enabling young Americans to prepare for moral and political leadership by providing guidance, training, and experience in the theory and practice of determining public policy.

We fulfill our purpose through our goals:

  •  To provide leadership training to meet the needs of a democratic society.
  •  To provide an understanding and awareness of modern government.
  •  To provide opportunities for participation in the legislative, judicial, and media processes.
  •  To provide opportunities to become significantly involved in social issues.
  •  To develop self-confidence and self-expression.
  •  To provide opportunities to gain experience in political action.
  •  To increase the ability of members to organize ideas clearly, concisely, and persuasively along with giving individuals experience in the art of speech-making and debate. 
  •  To enable the individual to learn to take defeat without discouragement.
  •  To learn to be tolerant of others’ points of view.


State Conference is the culmination of your Youth & Government experience.  Our State Conference is held in February each year.  During this three day conference, students will have the opportunity to run the Oklahoma State Capitol!  Legislative delegates will debate proposed legislation on the floor of the House and Senate Chambers.  The Judicial Section will utilize the Supreme Court and appellate courtrooms to conduct Mock and Appellate Trials.  The Media section uses the Governor’s Blue Room to produce daily broadcast, newspapers and share the experience up-to-the minute on social media.  The Lobbyist section will populate the Rotunda to convince members of the House and Senate to vote according to their specific interest group.  The Oklahoma State Capitol is truly student led with over 400 students in charge during this conference.

All students, advisors, and volunteers will stay at a hotel in downtown Oklahoma City participating in two banquets; trainings; mixers; and a fun night consisting of a dance, talent show, game room, auction, and much more! 

State Conference provides students from across Oklahoma a chance to engage with others, make new friends, debate ideas, learn about government in a real-life scenario, find their voice, and make memories to last a lifetime. 



New to Youth & Government?  Not sure what section is right for you?  The Youth Commission offers first year Youth & Government delegates a chance to participate in State Conference without competing in a specific section.  Youth Commission students will tour the capitol, hear from legislators and justices, all while exploring each section in a unique way.  Delegates will learn to write a bill for legislation and have an opportunity to present that bill on the floor of the House.  Students sit as the jury in the showcase trial for the Judicial Section, submit a whip count for the Lobbyist Section, and participate in a news broadcast for Media.  Our goal for Youth Commission is to recruit new students all year, so any Oklahoma High School student can find a place in Youth & Government.  To find out more information about being involved in the Youth Commission, contact the State Director – wchandler@ymcaokc.org or 405-297-7778.



We are fortunate to have the financial support of former program participants, volunteers, and Advisory Board members. 

We are also supported by generous contributions from the 

 Oklahoma Bar Foundation and the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation  

This support keeps the program fees low to our participants so that students from a variety of backgrounds can enjoy this unique experience.


We hope to continue keeping our program fees as low as possible so that students of all backgrounds may participate.
To do this, we need your financial support.


For more information contact

Whitney Chandler
Association Director of Teen Leadership Initiatives 
500 N Broadway, Suite 100, Oklahoma City, OK 73102
D 405 297 7778