Ohio YMCA’s Youth and Government program lets students across Ohio participate in learning about the democratic process by acting as the Ohio state government with the legislative branch (such as the Representatives and Senates of Ohio), the judicial branch (such as the Supreme Court of Ohio), as well as the executive branch (such as the Governor and their cabinet). This program lets students experience how the democratic process works. It is a great opportunity to participate in government as a young adult. Learn more at Ohio YMCA’s Youth and Government‘s page.
This year I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in YIG, among some other peers. We had prepared by writing and revised our bills (we were apart of the legislative branch). By the time, the conference came, we had prepared ourselves for potential questions about our bills. My partner and I had wrote a bill about declaring Ohio as a safe haven so that refugees are safe here and cannot be deported. Unfortunately, when we came in committee, our bill lost with only one person voting in favor. But we got the opportunity to re announce our bill since it was declared unconstitutional; unfortunately, again our bill had lost, this time in front of the “supreme court”. Though our bill had lost, it was a great opportunity to present something we were both passionate about. The conference was not all about announcing our bill anyway. We got to listen to many other people’s bills in committee, and share our opinion about them. If the bill had passed in committee, then it would go to
“the House” or “the Senate”. Then, “the House” or “the Senate” would vote on the bill after it was proposed again and debated. After that, the bill would go to the floor, where it included both “the House” and “the Senate”, where it would be proposed one last time and debated. It was great to see how our own democratic process worked when a bill is proposed in real life. It was wonderful to voice my opinions. I am and was really grateful for this opportunity as it has really reformed my love for politics.
I would really urge everyone in the United States, to look into their local YMCA and see if they have a Youth and Government program. The program provides thousands of students across the States to learn about their government and let their voice be heard. I urge you to join the Youth and Government program next year if you’re able to. I, and am sure my peers too, are very grateful for this experience. Go to Ohio YMCA’s Youth and Government’s Facebook page to see more pictures of this year’s conferences.