Junior Youth Assembly is a three-day learning opportunity for middle school students, grades 6-8, designed to give participants an experience in the operation of Georgia's State Government. Legislators meet in committees and in the House and Senate chambers to debate legislation. Students are given an opportunity to discuss current state issues with state administrators.
Volunteers, along with GCCE Professional staff, help guide the students through mock committee meetings and legislative procedures. Students debate and vote on bills that their fellow delegates have written and presented. Bills that pass in committee are then taken to the floor of the House or Senate for full debate and vote.
The purpose of this three-day learning opportunity (Georgia Youth Assembly) is to bring the workings of the Georgia state government alive to students in grades 9-12. Students are given an opportunity to discuss current state issues with state administrators, elected officials, and students from high schools throughout the state.
Each conference is led by teens elected to office by their fellow delegates or appointed by organizational staff. Held annually at the State Capitol in Atlanta, volunteers from various state departments act as resources for the students while they debate the issues. These volunteers, along with GCCE Professional staff, help guide the students through mock committee meetings and procedures. Students debate and vote on the bills that their fellow delegates have written and presented. Bills that pass in committee are then taken to the floor of the House or Senate for full debate and vote.
Youth hold the offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Speaker of the House. Participants also engage in campaigns and elections for officers who will serve during the following year.
The Legislative Program involves participants identifying issues for legislation, bill writing, debating, bill presentation, and participation in a legislative body. Participants prepare legislation (bills) in their local delegations for consideration, debate, and action at the State Conference. At the State Conference, all bills are heard first in a committee, and some bills then advance to be heard again by a larger audience in the House and/or Senate chambers. Bills that pass both chambers are sent to the Youth Governor for their consideration.
Our goal for our Legislative participants is to acquire valuable experience in writing, researching, and debating mock legislation in a process that closely mirrors the process of our Georgia Legislature. This experience increases awareness both of how our state government works and pertinent current events.
Our Judicial program section allows students to participate in a moot court setting. Lead by student justices, who are assisted by adult lawyer volunteers, the students argue a case in the model Supreme Court program.
Our goal for our Judicial participants is for them to develop a clear and active understanding of the judicial process of the appeals courts. Participants work as a team to develop solid arguments for all sides of a case and perform their roles faithfully to replicate real court proceedings as closely as possible.
Students participating in this program will receive the case approximately two weeks prior to the State Conference and will have a training session prior to the event to prepare them.
Students will submit a brief.
The purpose of our Media program is to provide an accurate account of the Georgia Youth Assembly program and to allow students to gain meaningful, real-life experience in journalism through the publication of a newspaper, social media content, and a news broadcast at the conference.
The newspaper, various social media posts, and broadcasts are entirely the work of the student participants from story assignments to production to distribution. Our goal for our Media participants is for them to fully understand and practice the relationship of media with the government. Students learn to meet deadlines, gain valuable skills like headline writing and interviewing, understand the layout and graphic design tools used by media personnel, and more.
The Lobbyist program is designed to give students an understanding of how interest groups can influence potential legislation. Participants are assigned bills to track and to lobby "for" or "against" and make presentations in the Committee Meetings to that end. Student lobbyists are guided by program volunteers and "real" lobbyists to ensure that the experience is both genuine and meaningful.
Youth Assembly provide students with opportunities to run for elected offices such as Youth Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker of the House. Additionally, students can serve in appointed positions such as Clerk of the House/Secretary of the Senate, Doorkeepers, Floor Leaders, Committee Chairpersons and more.