Youth and Government- Model Legislature and Court

Model Legislature & Court (MLC) is a space for teens to find and use their voices, by taking on the issues they care about. From local community challenges to state-wide legislation, Model Legislature & Court is a unique learning experience, something that stays with you for your lifetime. This program follows the school year; starting in the Fall and ending in the Spring, through which teens meet weekly as a delegation, attend four conferences together throughout the year, and end it all with a statewide convention where thousands of high-schoolers take over the California Capital offices. It's a learning experience unlike any other.

California YMCA Youth & Government’s Model Legislature & Court has been the state’s premier youth leadership and civic development program since 1948. The MLC creates a six-month learn-by-doing experience that teaches the values of democracy by bringing together a cross-section of the state’s high school students.



This program provides them with the opportunity to experience government first-hand and to learn how to solve community problems through the democratic process as well as debate and discuss issues with their peers from throughout California. Read on for details on joining the Y of San Francisco this year!

Schedule & Conferences

The Y of SF delegations are tied to our branches throughout the San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo- see branch locations here. Delegations meet weekly beginning in September through March 2019, one night a week. 

A much-loved part of the program is the conferences- weekend retreats where delegations lead and learn essential leadership skills. Each conference brings together diverse students from across the state to experience the governmental process first-hand through a unique ”youth-run, youth-led” model. 


Where and when are the conferences?

The first two training and election, weekend conferences are held in mid-November and mid-January in Fresno. These events prepare youth for their roles at the formal Model Legislature & Court conference, which is held over five days in mid-February at the State Capitol in Sacramento.

Teen Leadership Conference
10/18-10/20 - Camp Jones Gulch YMCA

Trainings & Elections I
11/9 - 11/11 - Fresno, CA 

Trainings & Elections II
1/18 - 1/20 - Fresno, CA

72nd Model Legislature & Court
2/13 - 2/17 - Sacramento, CA 


What do the delegates do there?

MLC delegation youth take over the capital! At the final conference in Sacramento, youth debate the bills they're championing in committees, then on the floor of the Assembly and/or Senate and, if passed, sent on to the Youth Governor.

In addition, depending on the size of each delegation, other students participate in the additional program areas offered including:

  • The Supreme, Appellate and Trial Courts
  • Broadcast and Print Media
  • Lobbyists
  • Board of Education
  • The State Constitutional Convention
  • Political Parties
  • The National Issues Commission
  • along with many more.

Sign Up

Registration Guidelines

  • Sign Up online or at your local YMCA
  • Registration packet needs to be turned in at time of registration
  • Current 9th - 12th Graders
  • Must register by September (first payment due 9/28)
  • No Program Membership Required
  • Scholarships and Discounts can be applied by branch after registration

Registration Includes

When you sign up, everything you need to participate throughout the whole program is included.

  • Transportation (3 conferences)
  • Hotel Stay (3 conferences)
  • Conference Meals & Snacks
  • Weekly Meeting Snacks
  • Delegation Sweatshirts
  • Advisor Expenses
  • Statewide Program Registration Fees
  • Program Meeting Supplies
  • Cluster Events


Payments & Scholarships

1st September 28, 2018 $481.66

2nd November 30, 2018 $481.66

3rd January 31, 2019 $481.68

Financial Scholarships available through your delegation Lead Advisor. Contact us to inquire about scholarships. Payments can be made online, monthly draft, or in person at your local YMCA. 

Inquiry Form

Interested in learning more, or talking with a current MLC delegate? Complete the form below and we'll be in touch!


Betty Sells-Asberry

Betty has been with the Y since 2008. She is committed to programs that create lasting change and empowerment for SF’s diverse communities – particularly young people!

Jenifer Hughes

Developing teens through Workforce Development, Civic Engagement, and After School programming. Working within the Western Addition/Fillmore community hoping to bring new experiences and opportunity to its young people.