By Casey Banks, East Valley Family YMCA
Youth & Government is changing the teens in the east end of the San Fernando Valley for the better, and possibly the world. Every Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at the East Valley Family YMCA, in North Hollywood, teens from all over the valley meet to discuss and debate real world issues, problems that face the State, and author bills that they think will better the people and communities in California. The program starts March 30 and goes until February when the students travel to Sacramento and use the California Capitol Building for Y&G proceedings.
The use of the State Capitol’s official chambers adds a tremendous amount of dignity to the proceedings of Y&G, now in its 63rd year. This is a statewide youth educational program involving more than 2,500 high school students in a “hands on” experience. Since its inception, the program has used a variety of activities to build, encourage, and strengthen those life assets and character traits that will help high school youth become involved, responsible adults who are decent and respected citizens. The program is very comprehensive, and its impact on the youth participants is dramatic. The core purpose of this highly regarded program is exemplified in the motto “Democracy Must Be Learned by Each Generation.”
During free time at conferences (which can consist of dances, games, or just relaxing) relationships are built that last a lifetime. It is extremely common for participants to meet and build relationships with other students from their communities as well as from all over California. With several weekends to work with students from anywhere in California it is the best networking program available for a teenager today, plus it looks great on college applications and there are plenty of ways to gain service hours through a variety of fundraisers and community events.
The program is open to all high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors whether or not they are members of the YMCA. Tuesday, March 30 at 7 p.m. is our first meeting of the year and is open to anyone. For more information on the Youth & Government Program at the East Valley Family YMCA, contact Casey Banks at (818) 763-5126 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in helping the Youth & Government Delegation of the East Valley Family YMCA get to Sacramento please send a donation to the East Valley YMCA, 5142 Tujunga Ave., North Hollywood, CA, 91601.
Whether or not it is Youth & Government, learning to swim, going to summer camp, or taking a karate class, the YMCA is a place for the entire family! Come to YMCA Healthy Kids Day in North Hollywood Park, April 17th 10am-2pm, for more information on all YMCA programs.