Youth in Government

Welcome to the South Carolina Youth in Government website

Students in 9th - 12th Grades who are interested in applying for Youth in Government leadership positions need to submit an application by Monday, March 31.  Positions are open for the following: Upper Chamber Pro Tempore, Committee Chair, Premier Presider, Committee Co-Chair, Upper Chamber Party/Floor Leader, Clerk, Lower Chamber Floor Leader, Governor's Staff, Deputy Secretary of State and Middle School Presider.

Click here for the application.

The SC YMCA Youth in Government program is open to any middle or high school student in South Carolina.


South Carolina Youth in Government receives awards at the Conference on National Affairs 

25 delegates from the SC YMCA YIG program participated in the national Youth in Government Conference on National Affairs. The conferences brings together 600 of the best high school students from around the country. The week was filled with fun and enriching experiences which included making new friends, learning new things and spirited debates.

The South Carolina delegation walked away with the following awards: 

  • Will Randall of Mauldin High School won outstanding proposal

  • Dan Brown of Bluffton High School won outstanding statesmen

  • Nida Ansari of Riverside High School won outstanding statesman

  • Lorenzo Barberis-Canonico of Riverside High School won outstanding statesmen

  • Ankit Bilgi of Southside High School presented his proposal in plenary with only 9 other delegates 

  • The South Carolina delegation was named a premier delegation


YMCA Continues Partnership with Bike Clubs 

YMCA YIG partners with Building Dreams Bike Clubs. Bike Clubs provide group mentoring for teens in communities impacted by a high incarceration rate. We partner with them through shared volunteers and participation in Achievers and Youth in Government. We have a shared vision and love the work that they are doing. They share our core values of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. 

We recently had a summer kick off event with bike club participants, families and model Kiara Kabukuru. Click here to watch an inspiring video in which Kiara discusses bike clubs and their impact on her life.

Youth in Government mourns the loss of a great YIG friend and volunteer

Dean Eichelberger was one of our most devoted, dedicated, and beloved judges for the YIG trial program. Scores, if not hundreds, of young people were blessed to have the luck of the draw that put them in his "courtroom" for their mock trials throughout the years. He loved getting a YIG t-shirt as our meager thanks for his time every year. He was patient and serious about his job as a volunteer judge. We are so sad, and will miss him.

Read more about Dean Eichelberger.



The Youth in Government program helps to create the next generation of good citizens. Through our programs, we demystify local, state and national governmental systems so tomorrow's adults will know how to effect change within these systems. We expand  horizons so young people will understand their role within a global society.
Students participate in:
  • Model Legislature and Court Conference for high school students - More than 1,000 students from 45 schools participate in this three-day conference at the statehouse in Columbia. Student legislators write and debate bills; attorneys try and appeal cases; reporters publish a newspaper and create a nightly newscast. This experience provides an intensive, hands-on learning project into the mechanisms and subtleties of the state government process. This conference is held annually the week prior to Thanksgiving.
  • Middle School Model United Nations - a year-round classroom project culminating in a two-day field trip where students create a Model United Nations. Students work in groups to study a specific country, which they represent at the conference. Students write and debate proposals, create a display booth from their country, and dress in native attire.
  • CONA (Conference On National Affairs): The national Youth in Government conference - where students from across the nation spend a week discussing and debating national and international issues.
The Youth in Government program uses the service-learning model in the firm belief that leadership is developed by doing. High school students help provide leadership for our middle school programs, while college students - alumni of the Youth in Government program - provide leadership for our high school programming. All programs are guided and directed by committed adult volunteers and YMCA professional staff.


If you are interested in starting a Youth in Government Program at your school, e-mail our Executive Director Mary Capers Bledsoe or call her at 864-283-6800. Click here for more information on the program.