At the Y, everything we do is in service of making us—as individuals, and as communities—better. When you advocate with the Y, you take an active role in bringing about meaningful, enduring change for your family, friends and community.

    The Y’s National Public Policy Priorities

    The Y is for Youth Development

    At the Y, we believe that all kids deserve the opportunity to discover who they are and what they can achieve. We take a holistic approach in developing the social, emotional, academic and physical well-being of youth. Ys cultivate the values, skills and relationships that lead to positive behaviors, educational achievement and better health. Each year, the Y serves 8 million children in a variety of programs and activities. But we don’t just teach swimming or coach soccer; we build strong kids with strong futures in thousands of communities across the country.

    Learn about the Y’s youth development policy priorities:


    2021 Local Priorities:

    • End Isolation
    • Fight Inequality
    • Inspire Youth to Strive
    • Remove Limits, Reimagine Opportunities
    • Restore Hope and Well-Being


      Become and advocate: As an advocate of the Y, you can help:

      • Influence policies and initiatives that help youth develop healthy behaviors, values and life skills
      • Build trust and understanding among community groups and decision makers
      • Positively impact societal issues of importance to the nation and your community



        Civic Engagement

        Get involved: YMCA Youth & Government is a national program of the YMCA that involves thousands of teens in state-organized model-government programs. Students from every corner of the U.S. have the opportunity to immerse themselves in experiential civic engagement and to, quite literally, practice democracy.

        YMCA Youth & Government students have a better understanding of the workings of the government, foster an understanding of other’s problems and understand the concept of unity as it applies to the political process. Please note that there is an additional registration process through the State Program. 

        LEARN MORE


        Media Advisories