AUGUSTA  — The State WMCA of Maine’s Youth and Government is now accepting applications for participation in the Maine Youth and Government 2019 program.  Students in grades 9 to 12 are eligible to participate.  Youth and Government is unlike any other program.  Like the real legislature, participants come from all over Maine and provide a variety of views on the issues they are facing in their areas of the state.  The program is completely student-driven.  All bills focus on issues relating to local or state issues.  Program leadership is selected by peers and then they are trained how to perform their role. During the Augusta weekend, students run all aspects of the program. The program is held in the State House and uses the actual chambers and committee rooms. The program has been running in Maine for over 70 years and providing participants a unique experience to:

*Develop the skills for being a servant leader
•Work with other student leaders across the state of Maine
•Have a hands-on experience in the workings of government
•Gain an awareness of present issues and concerns of the State of Maine
•Provide opportunities for students to be independent thinkers and involved citizens, seeing how issues    facing the State of Maine can be addressed

Participants will:
•Draft their own bills to be debated and discussed
•Elect their peers to serve in leadership positions to lead at the State House weekend
•Receive training to be effective leaders
•Serve as representatives, senators, lobbyists, newspaper staff and governor
•Have a unique opportunity to have access to the State House during the program

Annually, over 150 students from all over Maine attend this weekend session at the State House.  They sit in the seats of actual legislators and debate bills they have written.  The weekend is led by leadership that they have elected.  The Youth Governor this year is Zach Weeks from Houlton High School.  Zach and the other delegates at this year’s program will be at the State House November 8-10. Applications are now being accepted and new delegates from any YMCA, Maine High School and home school students.  To get involved, contact Director Lonney Steeves at 377-9686 or [email protected].

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