Sophomore Madison Trice has met senators, lobbied for bills and attended conferences as a member of Youth and Government (YAG). She is currently running for Speaker of the Hyde House of YAG.
Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) YAG is a program that seeks to promote understanding of democratic processes through model judicial, legislative and executive governments. Trice became involved in YAG while she lived in Maryland, before moving to Houston this past summer.
“I joined on a whim. I always loved discussing politics, but I got way more involved when I joined YAG,” Trice said. “I had friends in other states who were involved in YAG, and I started as a freshman.”
Students are elected by fellow delegates and meet at annual conferences. In the legislative branch of YAG, participants create a bill and try to get it passed through the legislature. Student lobbyists try to further the passage of certain bills. The media branch of YAG records the bills and stories and publishes a newspaper at the end of each session.
“Everyone can find their niche within YAG,” Trice said. “I’ve had a lot of different roles. When I was in Maryland I worked as a lobbyist and had the opportunity to meet real senators and lobbyists.”
Youth and Government has four houses of legislature, one of which is Hyde House. As Speaker of the House, Trice would announce bills and moderate debate in the legislature.
“It’s nice because you can determine how well debate goes and how much fun the bills are going to be,” Trice said.
When Trice moved to Houston, she had trouble at first finding a delegation of YAG.
“I’ve always really loved YAG,” Trice said. “I decided that running for an officer position would allow me to be as involved as I wanted to be.”
In 2013, Trice went to the Conference on National Affairs in North Carolina. The conference is attended by around 600 students from around the U.S.
“The coolest thing about YAG is having your own voice. As president, I could advance others’ voices more,” Trice said.