Star Report

Delegates from the Channel Islands YMCA Youth and Government team recently gave back to the community by helping clean up the baseball fields at Mackenzie Park in Santa Barbara. Students from the Stuart C. Gildred (Santa Ynez), Lompoc, Santa Barbara and Ventura branches came together to help with the cleanup at the pony league baseball fields.

“We chose the project to give back to the community of Santa Barbara County and help out the Youth Program as they were in need of volunteers to help their equipment rooms clean-up,” said John Crowell, Sports and Teen Program Director at the Stuart C. Gildred Family YMCA. “Serving the community together helps the students get to know one another as they prepare for their big conference in Sacramento in February.”

Youth and Government participants experience first-hand how state government works; fine-tune public speaking, conflict resolution and debating skills; become a leader in the democratic process and increase civic literacy awareness.  The program also provides an opportunity to have fun with friends during weekly meetings, group building activities and road trips to Fresno and Sacramento.

As a delegation, youth create bills about pertinent issues, research and practice court cases, develop public speaking and networking skills, and attend three annual Model Legislature & Court conferences.

California YMCA Youth & Government’s Model Legislature & Court (MLC) has been the state’s premier youth leadership and civic development program since 1948. This program provides them with the opportunity to experience government first-hand through a unique “youth-run, youth-led” model. Visit the California YMCA Youth & Governmentwebsite for more information.

Established in 1887, the Channel Islands YMCA is a charitable organization of seven YMCA branches serving Santa Barbara and Ventura counties including: Camarillo Family YMCA, Lompoc Family YMCA, Montecito Family YMCA, Santa Barbara Family YMCA, Stuart C. Gildred Family YMCA in Santa Ynez, Ventura Family YMCA, and Youth and Family Services YMCA which operates Noah’s Anchorage Youth Crisis Shelter, the St. George Family Youth Center and My Home.

The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.  The Channel Islands YMCA serves over 46,000 individuals and provides over $1.3 million in financial assistance to families in need for child care, YMCA memberships, away and day camps, youth sports, and teen after-school programs. For more information, visit or call (805) 569-1103.