Austin, TX - On January 31, more than 1,000 high school students from all over the state gathered at the State Capitol for the 67th Annual YMCA Texas Youth & Government State Conference. These young leaders formed a mock state government and competed against each other in sections such as judicial trial court, appeals, legislative, media and Model UN. As usual, the YMCA Youth & Government State Conference was a great way to show that there is so much more to the Y. As a cause-driven organization, we believe that teaching our kids about civic engagement and leadership is as important as keeping them safe and healthy. Hundreds of volunteers and Y staff also attended the conference as guides and judges for the competition. This annual conference was made possible by support of other organizations and in-kind donations including the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation which awarded $150,000 to the YMCA Youth & Government program. This gift provided direct support to the program as well as turned into scholarships for students to travel to Austin.
To show our appreciation to the volunteers and donors as well as to encourage community leaders to get involved with the YMCA Youth & Government program, the YMCA of Austin hosted the 3rd Annual Texas YMCA Youth & Government VIP Luncheon. Local and state elected officials as well as superintendents of local school districts were present as Ross Ramsey, co-editor of the Texas Tribune, presented the keynote address. In fact, Rep. Larry Gonzales, Rep. Jason Isaac, Rep. Paul Workman, Rep. Eddie Rodriguez and staff of Rep. Four Price, Rep. Elliott Naishtat, Rep. Donna Howard, Rep. Dawnna Dukes, Rep. Craig Goldman and Rep. Chris Turner attended the luncheon. Also, Zaverie Harris, this year’s elected Youth & Government State Governor from the Dallas Y delegation, shared his life-changing experience as a participant and thanked everyone for supporting the YMCA Youth & Government program.
To learn more about ways to support or volunteer for the future leaders of the state, please visit the YMCA Texas Youth & Government website.