Youth & Government’s Model Legislature & Court (MLC) continues to be the state’s premier youth leadership and civic engagement program. The MLC creates a six-month earn-by-doing experience that teaches the values of democracy by bringing together a cross-section of high school students — grades 9th – 12th — from across the state of California.

Participating youth will:

  • Connect with new peers
  • Develop an understanding of civic engagement and local politics
  • Learn about and debate viewpoints on a wide variety of current events
  • Develop, plan, and execute service projects in their community
  • Attend weekend training at Camp Roberts
  • Attend MLC Conference in Sacramento

Program Fee: $1,300

Payment plans and financial assistance are available.
Fee includes weekly meetings, program sweatshirt, transportation, lodging, meals, all activities, Camp Roberts Training, and MLC Conference in Sacramento.

Training and Conference Dates

Meetings begin the first week of September 2023
Training at Camp Roberts: Nov. 9, 2023 – Nov. 12, 2023
MLC Conference in Sacramento: Feb. 16, 2024 – Feb. 19, 2024

2022 – 2023 Anaheim Family YMCA Delegates:
Karen Menchaca Lopez, Rotceh Valencia Badillo, and Bella Marie Huitron



For over 75 years, California YMCA Youth & Government has provided high school youth throughout California with an experiential learning program by modeling California’s legislature and courts. The program offers teen youth participants from around the state the opportunity to collaborate with others, make new friends, and build skills such as critical thinking, persuasive public speaking, writing and research. Youth & Government is rooted in the YMCA’s core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility and is a platform for social responsibility, servant leadership and personal development. We strive to offer a program where everyone feels a sense of belonging and that we help to support the spirit, mind and body of every individual.

Our goal is to nurture the next generation of civically engaged Californians so that they recognize the importance of:

  • Civic Knowledge: They understand the structure, function, and procedures of the California Legislature, including bill development.
  • Civic Awareness: They can identify the major issues facing their communities.
  • Civic Action: They are equipped with the tools they’ll need to make change in their community and can identify the importance of mutual respect, personal responsibility, and active listening in group settings.

The 76th Model Legislature & Court is planning for an in-person conference year, bringing together more than 1,300 youth participants representing over 60 delegations across California. Delegates will convene on a weekly basis at local delegation meetings. The program will include in-person conferences in November and February that allow participants the opportunity to put their training into action as they assume their given roles. Legislation is debated and court cases are decided, as students apply skills they have gained in the program.

For more information, contact Cristina Casa at


Rest assured, under the guidance of our dedicated staff and volunteers, all of our participants are in good hands throughout the entire Youth & Government program.

Youth & Government program is led by Cristina Casas, Community Engagement Director.

To ensure safety of all youth enrolled in our program, all staff and volunteers must:

  • Be over 21 years of age
  • Submit three personal references
  • Undergo fingerprint and background check screening
  • Complete Child Abuse Prevention Training
  • Review and sign acknowledgment of Staff/Volunteer Handbook, Harassment, and Code of Conduct
  • Complete CPR, First Aid, and AED Certification


The Anaheim Family YMCA is committed to making its programs available to everyone. We offer Financial Assistance to reduce program fees to ensure that everyone
has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.