Clubs and Programs

Conference On National Affairs

The Conference on National Affairs is held annually at YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, North Carolina and was established in 1967 with Virginia attending its first conference. Students from across the nation gather at this conference to debate issues of national and international importance. Each student brings a proposal to discuss in committee during the week-long process. Virginia typically brings a group of 10-20 students to represent the Commonwealth, and these students are selected by a committee at the Model General Assembly.

Hi-Y/Tri-Hi-Y/Youth & Government Clubs

The Virginia YMCA sponsors school-based service clubs which stress leadership development and community service. These clubs are called Hi-Y, which means high school YMCA. The first such club was organized in Chapman, Kansas in 1889, and was for boys only. Later came Tri-Hi-Y, a club for girls. Today, most clubs are co-ed and are called Hi-Y or Youth & Government. Hi-Y clubs perform school and community service projects and also participate in the Virginia YMCA’s model government programs. Students from affiliated clubs have the opportunity to run for office, serve as committee chairs, and become appointed officers

Model Judiciary Program- VIRTUAL 2021

In 1975, the Virginia YMCA and the Virginia Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division partnered to launch the Model Judiciary Program (MJP). It was through the work of our Executive Director Fulton Johnson, VBA President Gibson Harris, and Delegate Gerald Baliles that MJP has worked to educate Virginia’s youth with a hands on experience in Virginia’s judicial system.

MJP is composed of three different levels; Trial, Appellate, and Supreme Court. Students will have the opportunity to portray attorneys, witnesses, and jurors while arguing cases in real court rooms with real judges/justices. These rounds culminate to the Supreme Court round where the top arguments from the Appellate round argue constitutionality in the Virginia Supreme Court with Virginia Supreme Court Justices.

Teen Leadership Conferences

Purpose: Teen Leadership Conferences are designed to introduce 6th, 7th, and 8th graders to Virginia state government, especially the legislative branch. Leadership and character development activities are also included, along with a healthy dose of fun. Typically, TLC’s are held in certain counties for a certain grade level within the county. We have also provided TLCs for certain high schools. To bring a TLC to your county, please contact the Virginia YMCA.

Virginia Alliance of YMCA’s Advocacy Day- TBD 2021

The Virginia YMCA and the Virginia Alliance of YMCA’s has partnered together to create an interactive and educational program for teens to experience the YMCA’s advocacy day in action. Students will get an opportunity to network with legislators, lobbyist, and other governmental officials. They will learn what the strategic and legislative goals for the YMCA are while learning about the differences between advocacy and lobbying. Students can only be considered for this program by application and if they are registered for the Model General Assembly for the upcoming year. Please see the flyer for more information about the program, deadlines, and what is included.


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How do I become an Advisor?

Contact the Virginia YMCA and we will be happy to help you. There are several ways you can serve as an Advisor. You do not have to bring students to our program through one of our clubs, but we certainly encourage you to start a club if there is interest. You can find more information in the Advisor Guide on the MGA Programs page.

How can I bring students to one of the programs?

We require all students, either from a YMCA or a school, to attend with an advisor. If an advisor is interested in bringing kids, please contact us and we will help get you started. If a parent wishes to get their child involved, feel free to contact us and we can help you find the nearest participating school or YMCA.

How do I start a club?

Contact the Virginia YMCA and will be happy to help get you started. Each club needs a sponsoring school or YMCA staff member from their local school or YMCA to advise the club. Advisors can view the Advisor Guide on the MGA Programs page for more information on how to get started.