Youth & Government


California YMCA Youth & Government has provided outstanding statewide educational and social experiences for almost 70 years. Our programs, run through partnering YMCAs, schools and youth organizations, have served more than 100,000 students over the past 15 years alone. The hands-on programs of California YMCA Youth & Government provide positive opportunities and experiences for youth. Participants strengthen their communities by becoming active and responsible contributors who are inspired to lead and are empowered to create meaning.

California YMCA Youth & Government prides itself on providing quality educational and civic engagement programs that offer youth the following skills to help them transition and succeed with ease from middle school all the way through college graduation:

  • Leadership skills
  • Public speaking
  • Research and writing skills
  • Core values and team work
  • Study skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Greater understanding of civic engagement and issues on statewide and national levels

Central Coast YMCA offers two programs, Model Legislature & Court (MLC) and Model United Nations (MUN).

What is the MLC?

California YMCA Youth & Government’s Model Legislature & Court (MLC) has been the state’s premier youth leadership and civic development program since 1948. The MLC creates a six-month learn-by-doing experience that teaches the values of democracy by bringing together a cross-section of the state’s high school students. This program provides them with the opportunity to experience government first-hand and to learn how to solve community problems through the democratic process, as well as debate and discuss issues with their peers from throughout California.

What is MUN?

California YMCA Youth & Government has offered the Model United Nations (MUN) program to middle school students throughout the state since 2001. Middle school students (delegates) participate in the program with their peers. They are given the opportunity to discuss international issues, discover other cultures, develop life-enhancing skills, and make new friends. The four-month program culminates when delegates from around the state meet at the annual Model United Nations Summit in Los Angeles, California. 

Where can I find more information on Youth & Government?

Visit the California YMCA Youth & Government page.

I'm interested, how do I sign up?

If you are a youth in middle school or high school, complete the form at the bottom of this page. After we receive your information, we'll reach out to you and get you signed up for your preferred program.

If you are interested in serving as an advisor, or just want to volunteer, please reach out to Lori Caldeira at