"Not all states allow that — the actual chambers, the House and Senate floor — it's a big privilege," she said.
Youth in Government, however, isn't cheap. At $475, it's a bit spendier than the registration for other activities.
But Hamond says the YMCA is very willing to work with students and families to make sure that, if a child wants to do Youth in Government, price won't be a prohibiting factor.
"We take between a $10,000 and $15,000 loss because of the scholarships we give," Hamond said, "but we believe in the program, and we believe in investing in the youth of tomorrow. It's important for kids to have the opportunity."
Not all kids, though, want it.
Schmiel said that even though the program doesn't have the most exciting-sounding name — and many of her friends aren't really into it — she has been recommending it people because the experience is so valuable.
"I think most of my peers do not share a passion for government. They’re not really influenced directly, or at least they don't recognize that they’re influenced," Schmiel said. "But it’s so worth it, it’s so much fun and you get to meet people from all over the state who are just as interested in learning as you are."