NJ Youth & Government
New Jersey Youth and Government has been educating students in civic engagement and public speaking since its inception in 1938. The program culminates every year in a three-day legislative simulation that offers more than 400 delegates the opportunity to debate pertinent state issues, engage in servant leadership, and most importantly, forge lifelong relationships.
Students attending the NJ YAG conference get an opportunity to enhance what they would learn in a traditional civics class by actively simulating the entire process legislation follows before becoming law. Delegates are able to participate as senators and assemblypeople, justices and lawyers, media members, and more. Throughout the program, delegates are mentored by a dedicated volunteer staff of NJ YAG alumni studying and working in a wide variety of fields.
Through the NJ YAG program, students are better able to understand and get involved in political and public affairs, develop their public speaking, improve their writing and research skills, and be empowered to advocate for their beliefs. Guided by the four core values of the YMCA–Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility, NJ YAG focuses on fostering debate and friendships between delegates free from the tension in modern politics, allowing students to develop in a safe and supportive environment.