about us

civic knowledge + civic identity + civic engagement


Our Mission

The Georgia Center for Civic Engagement provides programs for our youth which promote self-esteem, leadership skills, and a sense of moral and civic responsibility.

Our Vision

To educate and equip students to be informed and active citizens.

What we Teach

The Georgia Center for Civic Engagement is committed to comprehensive civic education, a multi-disciplinary approach that provides opportunities for educators to sharpen their skills to further impact students as well as provide opportunities for students to directly engage in experiences that will help develop a deeper civic knowledge, a stronger civic identity, and a commitment to a life of civic engagement.

Our History

We began as a State YMCA in 1919 with the sole mission to serve young men. Our first boy’s chapter (Hi-Y) was at Fort Valley High School in middle Georgia. In 1929, the organization added service to young women (Tri-Hi-Y) to its program commitment with its first chapter at Douglas High School in southeast Georgia. In the early 1970’s the organization became co-ed.

Our longest continually serving Chapter is Cartersville High School, chartered in the 1950s and new Chapters are created each year.

GCCE Through the Years

1920's & 1930's

Throughout the 20's & 30's, more and more Hi-Y's and Tri-Hi-Y's would be created across the state.  Programs and conferences started to expand including Christian Life
Conference, Officer’s Training Conference (later called Youth Training Conference and
now called Impact), and so much more!

Effective February 25, 1929, the State YMCA of Georgia began operation.


The first Georgia Youth in Government (Youth Assembly) was held for high school students at the State Capitol.


In 1973, we established the Washington Seminar program, now called Georgia Youth
Leadership Institute.

In the mid-1970s, Junior Youth Assembly was established to provide the model legislative experience for junior high/middle school students.


Georgia United Nations Assembly was held for junior high students.


In 1994, Senior Georgia United Nations Assembly was established for senior high youth.


In 2014, the Georgia Center for Civic Engagement was launched as a civic initiative under the State YMCA.

In 2017, the Georgia Center for Civic Engagement became its own 501c3 nonprofit organization.


We find ourselves with another opportunity to expand our outreach. The boards of the State YMCA of Georgia and the Georgia Center for Civic Engagement, after much thoughtful deliberation, felt that our impact and reach would be better accomplished through a single organization-the Georgia Center for Civic Engagement. The two entities will merge and the State YMCA of Georgia will withdraw from the National Council of YMCAs on December 31, 2020.

Effective January 1, 2021, all current programs will continue as offerings of the Georgia Center for Civic Engagement including, but not limited to Youth Assemblies, Model United Nations, and local chapters.