Y Are We So G?


By: Sarah Schroeder

Throughout the year you have most likely seen various San Ramon Students parading around every Wednesday in bright sunshine-yellow sweatshirts. No, we aren’t a cult- we’re the valle lobos. Youth and Government (Y&G) is a vivacious group of pretty much the coolest people you will ever meet. Hearing the name, some boring pictures might jump to your mind, but think again. Y&G is the most amazing thing that one could experience while at San Ramon, and can give anyone a second family and a second home right in the comfort of our school. Whether you’re interested in debating and politics, learning to speak up, or just wanting to branch out with the most fun-loving, open people at school, Y&G is the place for you.

You’re probably wondering what exactly it is that we do in this program. Youth and governement is a statewide program that is branched off from the YMCA. The exact definition of California’s youth and government mission is to “build values-based leadership and civic engagement in California’s youth to strengthen our democracy.” We have three mandatory conferences per year, the last one being in our very own state capitol. We wear formal buisness attire while in Sacramento and are honored with being able to use the Capitol Building and interact with almost 3000 other “delegates” from around the state.

While in Sacramento there are opportunities to participate in your chosen role group which ranges from Senate and Assembly to the National Issues Commitee, Trial Court, Broadcast and Print Media, Lobbyists, Board of Education, Political Parties, and much more! The program teaches the basic and complex principles of the democratic society through model legislature assemblies, being assigned to your own role (judge, attorney, witness, senator, etc) The trip isn’t all hard work though-there are plenty of chances to have fun from nightly bouncy houses and trips to the local restaurants, to just socializing with individuals from all over Nor and So Cal alike- forming bonds that will last a lifetime.

The main reason that Y&G is such an amazing experience is because there’s finally a place to come and get your opinions and voice heard without fear of judgment. From our little lobo family to the whole statewide program, you will always be with people who care to listen and want to make a change. Since it started, the California YMCA youth and government program has reached over 70,000 teens. The program continues to grow and we are always open to anyone who wants a new, enriching, mind opening experience. From far away the kids in yellow sweatshirts may just seem like a crazy group of government-obsessed teenagers, but if you look a little deeper we’re here to have fun, build unbreakable bonds, and with your help, make a difference in our world.