Richards Bulldogs

Youth & Government

What is it?

Illinois Youth & Government is a YMCA program that teaches high school students about government and the process through which bills become laws.  Simply stated, Y&G is a mock legislature; we "play" Congress.


What are the different roles?

Legislative Assistant – Students will create a proposal for a selected topic that is chosen from a list of options.  They will then present their proposal in a tournament style forum throughout the Springfield Assembly.  A legislator will be assigned to mentor this position.  They do not vote for legislation.  There must be one LA for every 10 legislators.  This position is a great introductory position for those interested, but not quite sure what to expect. 

(Open to Freshman, Sophomores, Juniors, or Seniors in their first year in Y&G)


Lobbyists – Work to defeat or pass legislation.  Work with a bill group to support their bill but do not vote on legislation.  Must write a one-page lobbyist position paper. 

(Open to Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors)


Legislators – Form bill groups of 4 and write a bill.  Present the bill at Pre-Leg I, Pre-Leg II, and at the Springfield Assembly, both in committees and on the floors of the House & Senate.  Vote to pass or defeat legislation.  Will possibly be a mentor to a Legislative Assistant

(Open to Sophomores, Juniors, & Seniors)


Attorney – Students will work in attorney pairs to present an appellate case to a mock student youth court.  They will serve in the capacity of prosecution or defense, and will also serve as a youth justice.  Students will prepare a Bench Memo regarding their case and will work with the Attorney Advisor.

(Open to Sophomores (paired with a Junior/Senior), Juniors, and Seniors)


2023-2024 CALENDAR
First Meeting: Thursday August 31, 2023 at 3:20 in Room 212
Remind Code: @yghlr

The program year is September through March, however students must be registered by the end of September. 

September 15 - First Registration Deadline; Students can register here, but should be sure to confirm with Ms. Dovgin first.
FEES:  All students will be responsible for $225 in registration fees.  This amount CAN be fundraised or gained through scholarships.  $225 covers approximately half of the tuition for the event.

D-1 and A-1 registration forms and Bill Title Forms through the Y&G website.

Signed Form A-1 and D-2 (Codes of Conduct, Medical Forms and Photo Releases; First Payment of Fees; Financial Assistance Forms to Y&G Office.

October 24, 2023
Legislators must email bill briefs and final copies of bills to [email protected].  

Links to:
Student Templates (bill title, brief, bill forms, lobbyist info, judicial)
    Illinois Compiled Statutes

November 4, 2023

December 2, 2023
PRE-LEG II -- @Victor J. Andrew (tentative)

January 9, 2024 - Second Payment 
Lobbyist Position Papers and Legislative Assistant Final State Issues Forum

 January 16
, 2024
Judicial Bench Memos submitted to Y&G Office.

February 1, 2024
College Staff Applications to Y&G Office.

March 8-10, 2024
 Illinois YMCA Youth & Government Assembly in Springfield, IL.