The purpose of this three-day learning opportunity is to bring the workings of the Georgia state government alive to students in grades 9 - 12. Students are given an opportunity to discuss current state issues with state administrators, elected officials, and students from high schools throughout the state.
Each conference is led by teens elected to office by their fellow delegates. Held annually at the State Capitol in Atlanta, volunteers from various state departments act as resources for the students while they debate the issues. These volunteers, along with State YMCA staff, help guide the students through mock committee meetings and procedures. Students debate and vote on the bills that their fellow delegates have written and presented. Bills that pass in committee are then taken to the floor of the House or Senate for full debate and vote.
Youth hold the offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House. Participants also engage in campaigns and elections for officers who will serve during the following year.
Below is a listing of programs provided at Youth Assembly. Click on the name of each program for more information.
The Executive Branch Program allows students the opportunity to experience the executive branch of state government in Georgia.
During Youth Assembly, opportunities for students to participate include Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Speaker of the House, and many more. Elections take place during the Youth Assembly to elect the executive officers, who then serve for the next year.
The goal of the Judicial Program is to expose Georgia high school students to the formal judicial process through pre-trial analysis, discovery, brief writing, and the presentation of a trial to a court of judges. The program promotes leadership through the appointment of a Chief Justice and the use of practicing attorneys who not only judge the students, but also serve as mentors. The Judicial Program also promotes collaboration and compromise through the use of teams of attorneys and teams of judges working together to accomplish their goals. Tips from a former Youth Chief Justice
The Legislative Program is based as closely as possible on the Georgia General Assembly. The program strives to turn the ideas of Georgia youth into formal laws by writing, debating, and voting on legislation according to specific rules and procedures.
The program also promotes leadership by operating under the direction of both elected and appointed student leaders. Further, the Legislative Program encourages collaboration and compromise as legislators work with each other to achieve their goals.
The goal of the Lobbyist Program is to promote the ideals of civic involvement and leadership.
Students engage in research, preparation of issue position papers, legislative proposal packets and persuasive speaking to advocate their issues before legislative committee meetings and one-on-one interaction with members of the Youth General Assembly. Further, the Lobbyist Program encourages collaboration and compromise as lobbyists work with other participants in Youth Assembly, as well as each other, to achieve their goals.
The Media Corps Program provides students participating in Youth Assembly with an opportunity to understand the role of media in a participatory democracy. Media Corps students learn by doing.
Participants engage in the actual skills of newspaper production: writing, interviewing, commentary, editing, layout, photography, graphics, production, and circulation. The students publish two newspapers, called the Youth Assembly Record, during the conference.
More conference details to help you prepare:
- Tentative Oglethorpe Youth Assembly Conference Schedule 2017 (November 12-14, 2017)
- Tentative Carter Youth Assembly Conference Schedule 2017 (November 15-17, 2017)
- YA 2016 Last Minute and Helpful Tips
- How to prepare for YA
- Preparing your YA Bill for submission w/ step-by-step instructions
- YA How to write a Bill PowerPoint Presentation
- Delegation Registration and Rooming Form
- Scholarship Application Form
- Student/Adult Medical Release & Publicity Waiver
- Candidates for the 72nd YA Application Form
- YA Candidate Oath of Committment Form
- YA Committee Chairman Information
- Judicial Program Prep/Generic Information
- Social Media Information
- Restaurants within walking distance of hotel: Crowne Plaza
- MARTA Rail Map
- 2016 Youth Assembly Billbook (the 2017 Bill Books will be published online the the fall)
2017 YA Important Information:
Oglethorpe Conference: Sunday-Tuesday, November 12-14, 2017
Carter Conference: Wednesday-Friday, November 15-17, 2017
At the Crowne Plaza Atlanta-Midtown Hotel & State Capitol
Regular Registration received by Wednesday, October 4th: $299 per student (two nights lodging, two meals, conference t-shirt*, program costs)
*if registered and money received by deadlines
*Deadline for the State YMCA HQ to receive checks in order for groups to qualify for free conference t-shirts will be Wednesday October 13th, 2017. There are no exceptions, if the money is not received by this date and if the group did not register by the deadline, the group will not qualify for this incentive.
Late Registration beginning Thursday, October 5th: $315 per student
Adults: $200 (Double Occupancy), $315 (private room)
NOTE: Those participants attending from a school not currently affiliated may receive an additional charge.
Scholarships: Wednesday, September 13th (a form can be found under forms on the home page)
Regular Registration: ends Wednesday, October 4th
Bills Due: Wednesday, September 27th
Late Registration: begins Thursday, October 5th
Future Conference Dates
Nov 11-13 (Sun-Tues)
Nov 14-16 (Sun-Tues)
Crowne Plaza Atlanta Midtown