Recently, an election for the YMCA’s Youth and Government in western PA was held. Every year new students are elected to contribute and take a place in the club. Members for Blue and Gold Committee Chair were chosen to total 15 elected students, five of them are from Seneca Valley.
The Blue Committee is made up of two or more year members while the Gold Committee is constructed of first year members. Youth and Government, YAG, offers insightful knowledge into the world of politics and educates its members on what it’s actually like to run for an official government position.
The SV students who won include Gold Committee Chair, Katie Adams and Blue Committee Chair: Jacob Geil, Rishin Sharma, Arushi Subba and Will Adams. The positions they won are for the west side of Pennsylvania, and they will hold them until the next election.
These elections are important; however, they are not the only benefit YAG offers to students. During the meetings held every Monday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., members learn debate formats and how to create a bill that they can later present to committees at the Model.
One of the several Seneca Valley members who ran for Blue Committee Chair, sophomore Sam Condrick, stated, “It’s a good experience, it teaches you what it’s like to have to deal with real world issues.”
YAG members encourage others to join and learn more about the club. They feel it opens up more opportunities for students to educate themselves in government and debate structures. Condrick commented on the desire for more members, “It’s great [experience]. The larger our club gets the more important we will be at a state level, so we’re really trying to enhance our recruitment game this year.”
While the club teaches several things, members additionally get the chance to travel to events and meet students who have a similar interest in politics. They meet to campaign for positions, hear speeches and often give them as well.
The club’s official website can be found on YMCAPA.org with information about upcoming events including the Model Convention held in Harrisburg. It also included a depiction of the reasoning behind the club being created, “The State YMCA administers PA YMCA Youth & Government as part of our mission to empower youth to become engaged citizens, critical thinkers, and ethical leaders in the community. Through the YMCA core values of honesty, caring, respect and responsibility, the youth in our programs increase their political awareness, while learning the meaning of social action through actual experience in all aspects of government.”