“Democracy is more than being governed by a majority vote. It is a process in government that must be learned and earned by each succeeding generation. Youth cannot inherit democracy. They achieve it as adults provide them opportunities and leadership.”
It is with this belief, as stated by former Towson University President Earle T. Hawkins, that the Alliance has operated the Indiana YMCA Youth and Government (INYaG) program since 2014. INYaG is an experiential learning civic engagement program that uses model government as a vehicle for teaching Hoosier 7th through 12th graders about democracy. Since 1965, INYaG has been helping Hoosier youth to find their voices and advocate for what they believe. The confidence they gain through the program is making them better citizens who are contributing to their local and statewide communities now, as well as the future.
Click on the links below to learn more about the Indiana Youth and Government Program.
Click here to be added to the Alumni database.
Click here for information on program support options.
How it Works
INYaG delegates engage in experiential learning of government processes, generally through mock legislative, executive and judicial proceedings. Through INYaG, students develop an understanding of local, state, national, and international concerns; research, study and debate on public issues; explore careers in public service; interact with adult and youth leaders involved in decision-making processes; gain an understanding of political systems and the forum they provide for the effective and peaceful resolution of issues and concerns; gain an appreciation for the diversity of viewpoints on public issues and a concurrent respect for ideas, beliefs and the positions of others; and demonstrate citizenship responsibilities and leadership roles essential to the health of participatory democracy. Their work culminates in service as delegates during their state conference, debating bills on the floor of the legislature.
To view photos from recent events, please visit our Facebook page.
For more information about the program, please download the brochure and some background information about the program.
2019 - 2020 Advisory Team
The INYaG Advisory Team (IAT) is a commissioned team of volunteers who are responsible for championing the program by supporting, strengthening and sustaining efforts across the state. In order to ensure the INYaG’s development and operations are youth-led, the IAT works in partnership with the program’s elected youth officers to provide strategic leadership for the effort. Advisory team members are:
- Natalie Brake* - Early Learning Indiana - CHAIR
- Brittany Hendrix, JD* - Porter County Prosecutor's Office - VICE-CHAIR
- Amna Ahmed** - Student, Indiana University - Bloomington
- Chad Carlton - C2 Strategic Communications
- Elizabeth Cierzniak, JD - Fagre Baker Daniels
- Daniel Cruz* - AT&T Corporation
- Emile Davis-Poole* - Head Start
- MaryBeth Deinlein** - Student, University of Southern Indiana
- Matthew J Hanka, PhD* - University of Southern Indiana
- Joseph Jackson - Student, University of Notre Dame
- Malorie R Medellin, JD* - Lathan & Watkins, LLP
- Sydney Moulton - The Corydon Group, LLC
- Amy J Osborne, JD - Allen Wellman McNew Harvey, LLP
- Josh S. Tatum, MDiv JD* - Plews Shadley Racher & Braun, LLP