South Carolina YMCA Youth in Government is a year-round series of conferences, trainings, volunteer opportunities and other events. All program components help high school students learn to take their passion and enthusiasm for strengthening our state and nation by joining with other students through civic engagement and active democracy.

Fall Programs Include:

*Service Saturdays – one-day service projects across the state, guided and led by students, in partnership with organizations and groups in local communities.

* Elections and Convention – virtual town halls with YIG delegations and student candidates, culminating in hybrid in-person/virtual convention in December to nominate candidates to move into spring general elections.

* Pawleys Island Planning Conference – Dates and location TBD. Select group of students will gather to help set goals, make recommendations, and plan for 2020/2021 Youth in Government program.

* CARE – Connect, Advocate, Reflect, Engage – A hybrid program to connect delegates with adult elected officials, field experts, and mentors, to teach them to take their specific interests and passions and become effective advocates. Includes support to present individual projects, with the opportunity to receive seed funding to implement projects.


Model Legislature & Court Conference (ML&C) is the culmination of YIG participation. ML&C brings together students from across the state for a hands-on opportunity to experience democracy by creating a model state legislature and judicial system. 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. More than 1,500 high school students participate in this three-day conference annually.

When and where is the conference held? 

The conference takes place in Columbia, SC. During the day, students are at the Statehouse, the Supreme Court, or other downtown conference spaces. At night, all activities are at conference hotels and/or other downtown conference spaces.  

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 compete on mock trial teams, or on moot court teams (appellate). 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 ML&C conference is approximately $445/delegate. This includes all conference materials, all fall activities except the Pawleys Planning Conference, hotel fees, and transportation at the conference. Need-based scholarships are available. NOTE: For the Spring 2021 YIG conference, schools/delegates will have the option of putting two, three, or four students per room, with the hotel fees adjusted accordingly.

How do students participate?

Students traditionally participate in the Youth in Government program through their school or another community group.

High School Conference Registration    


The 2020/2021 election season will include candidate virtual town halls in October and November with individual YIG school delegations. In December, select delegates from schools will participate in a hybrid convention to select the candidates who will continue in the spring General Election. Candidates who move to the general election will be given $150 provided by SC YIG to spend on their campaigns. No personal our outside spending or donations beyond that are allowed.

Interested in running for office? *CANDIDATE FORM COMING SOON

Questions? Want to start a program at your school?

If you have questions, please contact Mary Capers Bledsoe: mcbledsoe@ymcagreenville.org