Youth in Government

What is the purpose of the YMCA Youth in Government program?
The Idaho YMCA Youth in Government is an in-depth educational program that teaches high school students how to be active citizens through a nine-month, interactive experience where they directly participate in the processes of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the Idaho State Government.

Youth in Government offers the opportunity for young people to:

  • Research national and international concerns
  • Organize this information into a document proposal
  • Engage in intensive discussion
  • Debate these proposals with peers from other states

In a state as geographically, economically, and politically diverse as Idaho, we believe that it is our responsibility to teach our future leaders the importance of effectively participating in governing our state.

In 2018-2019 256 students from 14 high schools and one YMCA delegate participated in Youth in Government.

After a two-year hiatus, we are honored to come back and serve the students of Idaho with an entirely virtual program. This year, there have been some adjustments to the program to ensure students experience an engaging program without the in-person benefits. 

 The Regionals Conferences will be held during the week of January 24th-28th. Students will get the chance to attend some workshops, run and elect for positions for the 2022 State Conference, and elect candidates that will run for the 2023 Youth Governor-Elect position at the State Conference. Each Regional Conference will run from 1-4 pm, and delegations are encouraged to contact their local District Offices or Schools if they would like to convene and experience the virtual Conference together. 

State Conference will be an adjusted version of our in-person State Session. In order to accommodate students in a virtual setting and prevent screen fatigue, we decided to shorten the sessions, make a change to the Legislative process, and adjust some of the position duties. 

Supreme Court participants will select the top 2 teams in each region at the Regional Conference to argue cases in front of the Youth Supreme Court at the State Conference. All procedures will remain the same, but the students will have a shorter time frame to argue cases. 

Appellate Judges and the Chief Justice will function the same and listen to cases via Zoom.

Legislature participants will be able to engage in an adjusted Legislative Session. Students will be able to engage in Committee debates, 1 House Session, and 1 Senate Session. Due to our limitations and desire to keep participant numbers low in each Zoom session, bills will not be passed or debated between the House and Senate. 

After the House Session and Senate Session, passed bills will be turned in digitally, and the 2022 Youth Governor will discuss an overview of what was debated, passed, and rejected in their State of the Conference speech at the end of the Conference. 

We want to thank all of the Advisors participating in our Virtual YIG Program this year. We would not be able to do this without you! If you have any questions about the changes to the Idaho YIG Program for 2021-2022, please contact the Youth in Government Program Lead 


  1. South West Region: Monday, January 24, 2022

  2. North Central Region: Tuesday, January 25, 2022

  3. South East Region: Wednesday, January 26, 2022

  4. South Central Region: Thursday, January 27, 2022

  5. Announcement of Elected Officials for 2022, Mock Supreme Court Teams, and 2023 Youth Governor Elect Candidates: Friday, January 28th, 2022 at 3pm (This will be recorded & emailed for anyone not able to attend live)

YMCA Youth in Government Virtual State Conference will be held April 21st & 22nd from 12pm-4pm each day.

Idaho’s YMCA Youth in Government program is open to high school students (grades 9–12) in every community in Idaho. Youth delegations must represent either a school or YMCA group.

2020 Elected Offices »
Regional Conference Youth Supreme Court Memo and Case »
Regional Conference Registration »
Risk Waiver and Code of Conduct Forms »

2020 Youth in Government State Session, April 23 & 24

April 23 & 24, 2019
State Registration »

Submit Bills Here »
Legislative Schedule »
Youth Supreme Court Schedule »
State Session Bill Book »
Opening Ceremony Script »
Closing Ceremony Script »
House Script »
Senate Script »



West Boise YMCA Youth Coordinator

Phone: 208 377 9622 ext 441

Email us here!

2021-2022 Idaho Youth in Government State Committee Members

  • Hon. Judge Jessica Lorello
  • Hon. Justice Joel Horton
  • Hon. Judge Laurie Fortier
  • Phil Reberger 
  • Dr. Ross Burkhart
  • Cindy Wilson  
  • Cheryl Adams
  • Alene Risher
  • Megan Schultz
  • Danielle Young

2022 Conference on National Affairs, Date TBD:

The YMCA Youth Conference on National Affairs was started in 1967 as a follow-up to the outstanding state Youth in Government programs conducted by the YMCA throughout the U.S. The success of the conference is directly attributed to the leadership of many YMCA professionals and volunteers but mostly to the dedication of the youth involved. National Affairs is a program developed by the YMCA of Montgomery, Alabama.

This program offers unique opportunities for a young person to do research in an area of national and international concern, organize this information into a documented proposal, engage in intensive discussion, and debate these proposals with young people from other states.

The YMCA Youth Conference on National Affairs has been held as a virtual conference the last two years (2020 and 2021), allowing more students from around the U.S to participate. More information about the details of the 2022 Conference will become available soon.

Learn more about the conference here:

This program is proudly funded by: