As a high school graduate, nothing made more of an impact on my life than my days of Youth In Government. There were debates to be had and friends to be made as we made our way into senior year. However, once I graduated, I found a stunning lack of the interest in my peers at University. No clubs on campus even gave hint to having a connection with government (besides the typical “Students for Republicans” or “Blue Student Society”). What I was looking for was an opportunity to serve my local governor, not intern or be paid for my service, but just to be able to connect with someone serving our city. I began to remember my time in high school, and the opportunities we received as students. A great example of these opportunities is the YMCA in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota (my neck of the woods eh?) Youth in Government Program
This program gets young student’s hands dirty in the world of politics. It’s a great idea to have youth become involved with their governments because then they know how to start making a difference and start making changes on both a small and large scale over time.
In a similar vein, on the international front, I am a former board member of the Council for American Students in International Negotiations (CASIN). CASIN is a UN-accredited NGO that brings college and graduate students to UN meetings to serve as record-keepers for other NGO and government delegates, and helps to compile and preserve a record of all proceedings including sessions with no official UN transcripts. As you said, the more opportunities youth have to get involved in government at all levels, the more they’ll be able to make a difference. CASIN
(NB: As a former board member, I am no longer involved with CASIN and no endorsement by my current employer is implied.)