My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for California YMCA Youth & Government, Sacramento, CA, USA
Youth and Government is almost impossible to describe in just a few short paragraphs. Youth and Government is really all about the hands-on and experiential nature of government, not really summarizing the wonders we benefit from. But, I am willing to try my best, seeing as Youth and Government has had the biggest impact on me of anything I've ever done... ever.
I think the place to start is where California education is lacking. To be honest, California public high schools, while held to high standards, lack vitality. I'm sure student after student can tell you about the monotone teachers they have and the number of lectures they listen to per week. Every high school student is just waiting to break away from the repetitive, boring nature of high school. Some participate in their school's clubs, government, sports, but every student tries to find SOMETHING to pass their time while trapped inside high school.
I've found this monotony can sometimes spark students to find what they love.
Teens are dying to get involved and become active in their communities, they just don't have the resources or motivation to do it all alone.
Youth and Government serves as the liaison between the students and their communities.
Y&G takes something seemingly boring, and instead creates a world of opportunities to find yourself, your passions and what you stand for. I guarantee uninformed teens will tell you they don't care about their government and truly, that is depressing. But, really, it's not the government they don't care about. They have been trained to anti-establishment behavior is what teens like.
In reality, we should be informed voters, who care about the democratic process we use. We should care enough to inform ourselves. Youth and Government teaches high schools to care, to find what they care about, and fight for it.
When I started Youth and Government as a freshmen, I did not care about our country's foreign affair policies or really, anything. I joined Y&G just to meet people, and I definitely fulfilled that goal, to say the least.
As soon as I joined the Y&G community, I realized how passionate I really was. I spoke on a bill against teacher tenure, an issue close to my heart, and realized how much I do care about the world around me. I applied to be a committee chair and was granted with the opportunity to lead a group of 40 people in a committee session. I applied for the Conference on National Affairs and was accepted! I traveled to North Carolina to represent the state of California.
I became the determined, passionate person I am through my hands-on experiences in Y&G.
I really found my voice in Youth and Government.
I found myself volunteering in my community, standing up for the students at my school and becoming very involved in what I care about.
I joined the Associated Student Body at my school and the Yearbook and became a major part of both. Recently I was elected ASB President, and last year I served as Editor-in-Chief of the Yearbook.
I finally broke out of my shell and became the prospering young adult I hoped to become. I started to really find my niche in politics. And, I plan to study political science in college, all based on my experience in Youth and Government.
Youth and Government really isn't just an organization. It's a close-knit, welcoming community that creates positive change in its surroundings. It's such a warm environment to come into, and it is filled with smart teens who want to change the world.
It's truly remarkable how many people become motivated and dedicated in such a short period of time.
In all honesty, I think Youth and Government is the only program that can create such outstanding results.
I recommend this program for all teens out there, government junkie or not, you will fall in love with Youth and Government. The program is large enough for everyone to find their niche and feel at home.
This is such a life-changing program, I can't wait to put my own children through it.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
do absolutely nothing. It's so perfect.
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