The Palisades-Malibu YMCA and Palisades Charter High School are teaming up and bringing back the youth and government program for students after a four to five year hiatus. It's first meeting is tonight at 6 p.m. at the high school.
Ashley Russell, youth and family program directora the YMCA, said she already expects 10 to 15 students turning out for tonight's meeting since they started promoting it on campus. Also, parents have been showing interest.
She said she hopes the program gains traction in its first year coming back to Pali High, hoping it creates a closer relationship between the school and YMCA and gives the students an opportunity to meet with peers from all across California.
The idea of bringing the program back actually came from the Pali High Principal Pam Magee, Russell said, as she came from Culver City High School and the youth & government program at the Culver Palms YMCA. Russell said when Magee came to Pali High she asked the Palisades-Malibu executive director about the program.
Youth & government YMCA groups specifically participate with all related groups statewide, Russell noted, but there are other states that run their own youth and government programs as well, similar to model legislature.
"Locally we have us, Westside, Santa Monica and Culver YMCA delegations," she said, adding the program will not only teach students about how government works but also provide them with opportunities to be more responsible, such as becoming an officer, a model elected official, gain community services hours, become more actively involved with the YMCA and other programs offered.
For more information about California YMCA Youth & Government, click here.