Running For Leadership

The NJ Youth and Government Program offers a variety of opportunities for students to take an active leadership role. Students wishing to run for office should demonstrate maturity, character, proven leadership ability, and a sincere interest in the program.  Student Leaders are expected to attend several meeting prior to both the pre-legislative session and the conference.  All elections will be held at the conclusion of the preceding year’s conference.  If you have questions about any position, feel free to ask an advisor or the Officer currently holding that position!
Students are eligible to run for the following positions:

Youth Governor

Duties/Responsibilities:

The Youth Governor is the chief executive of the YAG conference. The person elected to the position of Youth Governor should be prepared with extensive knowledge on the procedures of YAG, so as to better enable him/her to fulfill the duties of his/her position. He/she is elected at the prior conference to serve during his or her senior in high school. Once elected, the Youth Governor selects a Lieutenant Governor and chooses from applicants to create his or her Cabinet. The Youth Governor has a variety of responsibilities, including coordinating the efforts of the elected officers, developing discussion topics, and mediating all executive branch debates with his or her Cabinet.

Election Process:

In January or February, the candidates must submit an application to run, complete with personal information, statements, and ideas to be presented to the delegates. During the Pre-Legislative Session, candidates for Youth Governor will participate in two election events, the Whistle-Stop Campaign and the Gubernatorial Debate. In the Whistle-Stop Campaign, candidates have an opportunity to express their views in a small-scale setting, while the Gubernatorial Debate provides them with the chance to demonstrate their qualifications in front of the entirety of conference. During Pre-Leg there may or may not be a vote to narrow the field, contingent upon the number of contenders. The final election will take place at conference, with all candidates given the opportunity to speak and debate further. An initial round of voting will leave two candidates. After a final debate, one of these candidates will be elected as Youth Governor and will shadow the current Governor for the remainder of conference to gain experience in the office.

Eligibility Requirements:

Youth Governor candidates must have participated in the program for at least one prior year, adhere to the YMCA Four Core Values, and must be authorized to run by delegation leadership.

 

Cabinet Member

Duties/Responsibilities:

This group of officers works with the Governor and the program staff to develop discussion topics and plan the conference (through attendance at an annual officers’ retreat held in October and several meetings and conference calls throughout the year). At conference, cabinet members advise the Youth Governor, based on each’s speciality, on whether to sign into law or veto a bill that has passed both the Assembly and Senate.

Election Process:

Cabinet members are selected by the Youth Governor after conference. After attending the Saturday evening’s Officer Interest Meeting and indicating an intent to run for Cabinet, delegates are reached out to after conference. Then, delegates write essays, critique bills, and participate participate in a series of interviews.  After this process, the final cabinet selections are released by the Youth Governor.

Eligibility Requirements:

Open to any freshman, sophomore or junior in YAG committed to attending the following year’s conference as well as the training sessions.

 

Senate President/Assembly Speaker, Senate Secretary/Assembly Clerk, Lobby Firm President, and Court Justice:

Duties/Responsibilities:

The group of officers works with the Governor and the program staff to develop discussion topics and plan the conference (through attendance at an annual officers’ retreat held in October and several meetings and conference calls throughout the year). At conference, the committee chair(s) of the respective committee is responsible for maintaining order and ensuring the smooth procedural operation of their respective committee. Students are given a unique opportunity to learn about leading their peers and working with others in a dynamic, team-oriented setting, a feature that sets NJ-YAG apart from other high school programs. Not only are Chairs responsible for presiding over their respective committee at next year’s YAG conference, they also become part of the Youth and Government Officer Corps; these elected officers are tasked with organizing and coordinating every aspect of the subsequent year’s conference. Consult the committee officer for more information about Chairs.

Election Process:

  1. Approach to the Committee Chair or College Advisor about the roles and responsibilities of becoming a chair. Reflect and determine if becoming a Chair is right for you.
  2. Advise the committee Chair or College Advisor of an intent to run.
  3. Complete the application form in the delegate binder.
  4. Attend the officer information meeting at the conclusion of Saturday evening’s committee session.
  5. Prepare a short speech to the committee regarding your candidacy. Speeches will be given at Sunday morning committee sessions.

Eligibility Requirements:

Open to any freshman, sophomore or junior in YAG committed to attending the following year’s conference as well as the training sessions.