In the Tampa Y’s Youth in Government Program, learning about how government works is just the beginning. Here, Tampa teens explore the current issues and problems facing the state of Florida and develop ways to solve them.

During the course of this dynamic program, teens gain the skills necessary to debate against ideas and not people. They learn how to take a stand for what they believe in, while still being open-minded and respectful of others’ opinions. As young leaders, they also discover how to develop and articulate their point of view, present their argument, and debate the issues in a productive format.

Youth in Government offers programs designed for the middle school, high school, and college student. In each program, students have the opportunity to meet and work with their peers from other local Youth in Government chapters around the state.

Together, they collaborate on debate practices, service-learning projects, fundraising efforts, and State Assembly preparation. Under the guidance of mentors and facilitators, students choose an area of focus and take on specific roles in the government process. They are able to learn about their specific role in the context of state government, and develop their skills as a thought leader.

Students who are committed to and excel at Youth in Government may be selected to attend the Conference on National Affairs, where they will meet and work with students from all over the country. The Conference on National Affairs is not a debate competition, but rather a national forum for delegates to continue their leadership development.



The program is designed for students in grades 7 – 12 and is facilitated by a Leaders’ Club Adviser. It requires a commitment to attend regular club meetings and participate in special activities and overnight events throughout the year. Teens will have the opportunity to meet new people, build new relationships, learn valuable skills, get involved in the community, earn volunteer hours and learn what it truly means to be a Leader.

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