Youth & Government Coming To North Dakota

I can still remember the first day I walked into my first Youth & Government group back in Seattle, otherwise known as my delegation. People I've never met before, discussing things I didn't have a clue about, disagreeing on many points, but able to talk it through civilly. 

I was hooked then.

Youth & Government has been around since the early 1930 (then under a different name). Over the years, many different versions of Youth & Government have developed. Model Assembly, Model UN, Council of National Affairs, and Judicial competitions. Currently, there are Youth & Government programs active in 40 states

In North Dakota, a Model Assembly is forming for the first time. This is the form that I remember participating back in High School.

Students who participate learn how to draft legislation, working inside a committee structure, debating and voting in the Student House and Senate, and even working with the Student Governor to pass and sign their legislation. Over time, participants can advance their rolls at a committee chair, speaker of the house, Senate Pro-Tem, Lt. Governor, Governor, Attorney General, and other high ranking positions.

Over the years, not only did I learn a MASS AMOUNT about how our government works on a daily basis (right down to working with student lobbyists to draft legislation they are hoping to make into law), but the biggest thing I learned is how to debate someone on the points of their bill without attacking the person and being civil in everything I do. By the end of my 4 years in the program, I ended up as a Committee Chair of the Transportation and Public Safety committee. So much learned that I still use today.

Actually... if I didn't get into Radio, I would have continued down a different path in College, learning Political Science, and maybe a lawyer.

Coming up on April 21st at the Heritage Center, The Missouri Family YMCA is hosting a "Special Session" from 9:30am to 4:45pm. This will be an informational time for students, and a very condensed version of the "Model Assembly" for students to experience the program and process first hand. 

But... the session is limited to only 75 people!

Sign up now to reserve your Here

I'll be there... I'm hoping to see you all there as well for this amazing programs first session in Bismarck!

Check out the full text of the press release below

The Missouri Valley Family YMCA is pleased to present the first event for the Dakota Alliance Youth and Government program. Nationally, Youth and Government has been active since the early 1930’s as the Hi-Y program, which evolved into the Youth and Government Program. Youth and Government exists in over 40 states, with over 55,000 students participating every year. There are several aspects to the program: Model Assembly, Council on National Affairs, Judicial Competitions, and Model UN.

As a launch to our program, the Missouri Valley Family YMCA is hosting a free, one day “Special Session”, April 21 from 9:30am – 4:45pm, at the Heritage Center, in Bismarck, ND. The Special Session will be an informational time, as well as a very condensed version of what a Model Assembly will be like. This Special Session is limited to 75 participants, who must register at the Y or online at, lunch is included for the day. Participants will learn about writing bills, working in committees and debating their bills, if bills are passed in their committees they will go on to be sent through the Student House and Student Senate, any bills that pass both houses will then go on to the Student Governor to pass or veto. This program gives students a unique opportunity to experience how the government works first hand.

“One of the inspiring things about the program is how it teaches participants to disagree respectfully – you might see two students who are on very different sides of an issue during debate in committee, but during social times they are having fun together”, says Christy Cameron, the program director, “A huge part of the program is maintaining non-partisanship, and friendships.” Youth and Government is also different from many other student government programs: students are encouraged to participate more than once -each year through high school, then they can come back as advisers and volunteers; they can take on different roles each year, their first time they may choose to be a delegate to see how things work, then they might want to try media or lobbying, then run for one of the offices (Youth Governor, Youth Lt. Governor, Attorney General, President of the Senate, Speaker of the House, etc). Students also run the program once it is established, adults guide and provide feedback, but once they get to Model Assembly, it’s their project. Adults are still around, but it is designed to be student led. Another special attribute of the program is that any student who is interested can participate; they don’t have to apply or be elected.

For more information visit,

email or call 701-751-9707.

Joey Dee

Joey Dee

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