The KY YMCA Youth Association develops engaged citizens and servant leaders, inspired to affect change in their school, community, Commonwealth, nation, and world. Through experiential learning, service, and community activism, the KY YMCA Youth Association fosters critical thinking, leadership, and social responsibility in teens.
Most students who attend KYA will serve as either Representatives or Senators. These students debate issues of importance to the Commonwealth in the House and Senate Chambers of the Capitol.Students write bills for consideration and debate by their peers. The most outstanding bills at each conference are given the honor of being presented in the House and Senate Chambers of the Capitol. The Legislative Program is open to experienced 10th, and all 11th and 12th graders at the Senior level, and experienced 7th and all 8th graders at the Junior conferences.
For delegates attending their first conference as either a 6th or 7th grade student at a Junior conference, or a 9th or 10th grader at a Senior conference, the Premiere Program offers the chance to participate completely in the legislative process, without the added pressure of competing for time to speak with older, more experienced debaters. As KYA is the largest Youth Legislature in the nation, it is important to provide all students with several opportunities to have their voice and opinion heard, and the outstanding bills from this program also are debated on the floor of Kentucky’s actual House and Senate.
Bill Authors are selected by their school to prepare and present legislation to their peers. Groups of up to 4 students identify a legislative solution an issue currently facing our Commonwealth and write bills designed to make these solutions into state policy. Authors introduce their bill with an opening speech and conclude the debate with a closing speech. They are also given time to answer technical questions from their fellow delegates.
Each bill will be presented at least twice. Those bills that pass through their first two chambers advance to the Governor’s desk for Signature or Veto. All bills passed into law by the Youth Legislature and signed by the Governor or Vetoed and Overridden by the General Assembly, will be included in a packet given to every Representative and Senator in the state before the following Legislative Session.