Education & Leadership for Teens

Uriah Rodriguez
Executive Director
Outreach & Teen Initiatives
P 413.739.5820 Ext 102




Come check out the Springfield YMCA’s teen leaders club! Leaders is a Nationwide YMCA program for teens ages 12 – 18 or 6th – 12th grade that teaches leadership skills through community service, volunteerism, and personal growth. Leaders is an accepting environment in which teens can learn about themselves!

In Leaders you can…

  • Meet other teens and make friends from within your community and from the Northeast area.
  • Be a leader in the YMCA and in the community.
  • Plan events and field trips.
  • Participate in regional leadership retreats with hundreds of teens from other YMCA’s.
  • Earn volunteer service hours and recommendations.

Weekly meetings are hosted at five sites within the association. Meetings consist of values discussions, peer relationship building, and programs targeted at managing all aspects of a young adult’s daily life. For more information on days, times, and locations of our program meetings please see the contact information below and make an inquiry.



Join Youth in Government and learn how to

  • Enhance your leadership and communication skills
  • Win debates on issues important to you
  • Meet fellow youth leaders from around the state
  • Solve community problems by experiencing government first-hand
  • Participate in a three day conference at the State House in Boston, MA

What is Y in G all about?
The YMCA Youth in Government motto is Democracy must be learned by each generation. Every person can make a difference. Youth in Government helps participants acquire skills to take into the future:

  • Public speaking/communications
  • Greater understanding of democratic process
  • Enhanced leadership skills
  • Application of moral and ethical values to life decisions

As a YMCA program, Youth in Government focuses on: the core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility, civic engagement, and fun.

Who can participate?
High school students in grades 9-12. Limited numbers of middle school students serve as legislative pages.

What do delegates do in Y in G?
There are many ways to participate in Youth in Government. Delegates choose one of the following areas:

  • Legislative Branch: For students who are interested in debate, writing, and the law-making process.
  • Judicial Branch: For students who are interested in the law, arguing, grappling with moral issues, and writing.
  • Press Corps: For students who like to research, write, and report the news. A Youth in Government newspaper, The Beacon, is published by the Press Corps.
  • Lobbying Corps: For students who like to influence others to their point of view and advocate for positions.
  • Executive Branch: For students who want to exercise leadership qualities.


  • Governor: elected in junior year to serve in senior year.
  • Lt. Governor: elected in junior year to serve in senior year.
  • Cabinet: Eight members appointed by the Governor and Lt. Governor.

All delegates participate in all-day state Pre-Legislative Conferences on three Saturdays over the course of the program year. The Model Government Conference is held in early spring over three days from Thursday morning until Saturday afternoon, usually in Boston. Officers attend leadership training the Wednesday before the conference begins.











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Strengthening CommUNITY

Since 1852, the YMCA of Greater Springfield has been a way of life for thousands of youth, teens, families and seniors throughout our region. As one association, we are working together to meet the growing needs of the 14 cities and towns that we serve. Help us provide opportunities for Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility to more members of our community by making a donation to our Annual Support Campaign.