Alaska 4-H Youth in Governance
Alaska 4-H Youth in Governance offers 4-H teens the opportunity to gain a better understanding of how government works and engage with lawmakers at different levels. It is a unique program that offers teens from across the state of Alaska the chance to learn about state government and feel empowered to use their voices to build a better future. Participants focus on Alaska's state government, with the opportunity to extend activities to include local governments and tribal governments as well. The Sitka Conservation Society partners with the University of Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service to select students to participate in this program.
Youth In Governance can be used effectively to help educate students on the issues our state government concerns itself with. While this program covers the basic background information in government, it also takes this a step further in applying some of these concepts on the Alaska Legislature website and in our conversation with Senators and Representatives. The other major purpose this program can serve is how it can connect students with members of their government.
Youth in Governance students and SCS staff with Representative Kreiss-Tomkins in 2019.
This program can be a stepping stone to how they get involved in the political process, opening doors and helping cultivate confidence in teens to use their voice so they navigate the political process in the future – whether as as constituents or future leaders.
Reflecting on her past experience at the 2021 Youth in Governance, Sitka's Tava Guillory says, "I enjoyed the new people we got to meet with and learning about the different experiences of the students from the interior. I am glad I participated in the program, and would recommend it for students who enjoy learning about government and meeting new people."
SCS Youth Internships
SCS offers internships for high school students who are part of the group Youth for Sustainable Futures. Interns learn about leadership development and catalyzing action through policy at the local, state, and federal levels. They participate in and help lead the efforts of Youth for Sustainable Futures by brainstorming strategies and creating actions to engage youth in climate change awareness and advocacy. SCS supports interns in achieving their goals through the provision of mentorship, materials and resources, and career experience.