Alanna Mustin, PA

Many students feel like they lose something near and dear to their hearts after high school in terms of  youth activism. In March of 2012, Pennsylvania YMCA State Director Lydia Mitchell, with the help of many dedicated others, created a program for these students: College YIG. Pennsylvania runs the program which had 77 members at their first inauguration. The seminar is a mock national government, just like YIG, and allows networking with likeminded people with a common goal of advancing the program.

Mitchell was one of those high school students who held youth activism close to their hearts after being a member of YIG.

“I believe that we should continue the mission of engaging the program’s alumni after high school because they’re a huge part of it,” Mitchell explained, “they help with internships and connections later in life for other members.”

The program was established after many college students told YIG program directors how badly they wanted to continue debating even after high school. One of those soon to be college students is Pennsylvania delegate Erik Rauterkus who is going to attend Swarthmore College for economics. Rauterkus was a member of Youth and Government for four years and was elected Youth Governor in hislast year.

“I loved the experiences YAG gave me in high school,” said Rauterkus. “I just hope College YIG will help me continue to grow into a well informed and better person.” One of the parts of College YIG Rauterkus is most excited for is getting to see all the friends he made at  CONA from all over the country again in just a few months.

If anyone is interested in more information on College YIG including: delegate registration, internships, chapters, and much more check out http://www.collegeyig.org

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