What is HSML&C?
South Carolina YMCA Youth in Government's Model Legislature & Court Conference (HSML&C) has been the state's premier youth leadership and civic development program for the past 30 years. HSML&C creates a semester-long learn-by-doing experience that teaches the values of democracy by bringing together high school students from across the state. The conference provides delegates an opportunity to learn how to solve community problems through the democratic process as well as debate and discuss issues with their peers from throughout South Carolina. Over 1,500 high school students participate in this three-day conference.
When and where is the conference held?
The conference is held each year in Columbia, SC the week immediately prior to Thanksgiving. During the day, students will be at the statehouse, the Supreme Court, or other downtown conference spaces participating in conference activities. At night, all students conduct all activities at the state fairgrounds and conference hotels.
What do delegates do at the Conference?
While at the conference, students participate in a simulation of South Carolina's democratic process. Acting as Senators and Representatives, students write, debate and vote on legislation. As candidates and lobbyists, students experience the rich spectrum of activity that constitutes our political process. As media delegates, students create and publish a nightly newspaper. As attorneys and justices, students argue and judge a legal case. Officers elected by students serve as Governor, Lt. Governor, Speaker of the House, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Secretary of Education and Comptroller General.
How much is the conference?
The Youth in Government HSML&C conference is $445/delegate. This includes all conference materials, hotel fees, and one meal. New schools receive a discount for each delegate. Need-based scholarships are available.
How do students participate?
Students traditionally participate in the Youth in Government program through their school or another community group.
Questions? Want to start a program at your school?
If you have questions, please contact Jessica Sharp at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Need some help preparing for the conference? Check out these training videos: