Our Y | Dakota Alliance Youth and Government

What is Youth and Government™?

Dakota Alliance Youth and Government (YAG) is a youth development program emphasizing the Y’s four core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility.  All are welcome and financial assistance is available

Youth and Government™, is a program that dates back to the late 1930’s, is a national program of the YMCA.  It involves thousands of teens nationwide in state-organized mode-government programs.

Program Goal:  To develop young men and women who will be better citizens by being both knowledgeable and active in determining the future of our democracy.

An exciting and enriching educational experience for all students grades 8-12.  No elimination process, just a whole lot of fun!  


Objectives and Activities

- To provide training and experience in understanding the legislative process

- To develop critical thinking and analytical abilities
- To provide active participation in the legislative process
- To develop interpersonal communication skills
- To provide awareness of social issues and their possible solutions
- To provide opportunities to hear and respect varying viewpoints
- To encourage active participation in political and public affairs

Would you like to support a local youth in participating in Youth and Government?  Use this form to donate to a specific students experience or to just support the general fund of Youth and Government to help make it more accessible for anyone who wants to participate!  

Model Assembly

In Model Assembly students select their own topics, research and write their own bills, present them in committees of peers, build alliances with people in other committees or the other Chamber to represent their bills there.  Bills that pass committee, House, and Senate go to the Youth Governor for signing.  Students also can run and be elected to Youth Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, or different Cabinet positions.  If those don’t interest them they can choose to remain a legislator or give media or lobbying a try.  It’s an incredibly immersive program that builds speaking, debating, leadership, problem solving, relationship building and more. 

Thank you to all our wonderful participants and volunteers for making our first Model Assembly a huge success! 

Please watch for news on exciting growth in our Youth and Government program!  


Model United Nations (MUN)

Delegates in grades 8 – 12 “adopt” a country, with a small group of other students, and exercise the art of compromise and diplomacy to attempt to address pressing global issues. Model United Nations teaches students to be responsible “world citizens” in our global community and work to find solutions to common problems. Model UN takes place in late March/Early April each year.



Conference on National Affairs (CONA)

More than 600 Youth in Government participants from about 30 states are selected to attend the conference where they debate issues of national and international importance. The trip happens in early July at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly.

Registration takes place in the Spring preparation for the conference includes writing a proposal (similar to a bill) on how to make the country/world a better place.  The conference is open to 10th – 12th graders.


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