For High School Students

Working with the YMCA’s Youth and Government Program across the country, we provide high school students an opportunity to experience what it’s like to conduct fact-based, bipartisan oversight hearings.

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Youth and Government

The Levin Center, working with the YMCA’s Youth and Government program, provides thousands of high school students an opportunity to experience what it’s like to conduct fact-based, bipartisan oversight hearings. 

Every year, whether in person or online, the YMCA’s Youth and Government program enables thousands of high school students across the country to conduct legislative sessions modeled after their state’s House and Senate chambers.  Bills are prepared, debated, and amended by students in a one-of-a-kind, hands-on learning experience geared to develop leadership skills and democratic values. Since 2019, the Levin Center has expanded the Y&G experience by offering students an opportunity to participate in a simulated oversight hearing. Participants can take on the role of a legislator, officeholder, witness, or journalist.   

The Levin Center is currently active in two states, with more planned for 2022. In Michigan, we have worked with the Michigan Youth in Government program to hold three rounds of hearings since 2019. In Florida, the Levin Center worked with the Florida Youth and Government  program to hold that model legislature’s first oversight hearing in 2021.

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Download our Program Brochure

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Listen to our podcast episode on Youth and Government

Ben Eikey and his guests discuss our Youth and Government Oversight exercise program on this episode of our Oversight Matters podcast. Listen in to find out more about the program and hear from students who joined us in 2021. 

Program Details

The model oversight program provides students with materials describing a scenario where state legislative oversight would be appropriate as well as a set of investigative findings. The students are tasked with using the “facts” they learn through the investigative findings to develop an investigative hearing, complete with press releases, opening statements, and witness questions. Following the hearing’s conclusion, the student legislators can choose to draft a joint resolution with recommendations for future action or draft a bill for the Y&G legislature.

Levin Center law student volunteers prepare the students for their oversight experience. Using a hands-on approach, the legislative oversight program helps students learn about using fact-based, bipartisan oversight by elected officials to bridge political divides and solve problems.

Previous Scenario Topics

2019: Responding to a tar sands oil spill in Lake Michigan

2020: Investigating a car crash that exposed labor trafficking in door-to-door magazine sales crews

2021: Examining how one high school handled a perceived threat of gun violence

2022: Investigating what happens when prisoners don’t have access to mental healthcare once they’re paroled