Legislative Chambers

Members of the Iowa Youth Congress gain first hand experience with how public policy is created and implemented in our state.

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Iowa Youth Congress

The Iowa Youth Congress (IYC) is one of the largest youth initiatives in Iowa, comprised of up to 100 underrepresented youth ages 15-18. The program was created in 2006 by the Department of Human Rights (DHR) in response to the underrepresentation of minority members in Iowa’s Legislature.  The IYC provides youth of all backgrounds the opportunity to gain hands-on education in the subject areas of state government, democracy, advocacy, and civic engagement.

Through the IYC experience students attain a variety of skills including public speaking, problem solving, and political debate in multicultural leadership settings. The students also report that IYC participation improves their interest in the legislative process and helps to provide a more hands-on learning experience in the proposal, debate, and passing of bills.

Students participate in multiple regional meetings then convene in October at the Iowa State Capitol to participate in a three day multi-event conference. This includes a college fair, a mock congress where students debate and amend their laws, and a dream forward dinner that host guest speakers with entertainment afterwards. During the mock congress students vote on their issues until there are three left. These three issues are turned into bills to be presented to Iowa’s legislature during the final IYC event of the year. During this time students are encouraged to lobby for their bill supported by IYC. Lobbying allows students to talk with their local representatives about the bills they sponsor in an attempt to have their proposals introduced as legislation.

The Iowa Youth Congress (IYC) is a diverse and dynamic group of student representatives and we are always looking for students with new perspectives. Any Iowa high school student can apply to be part of IYC. There is no cost to participate and the program will provide reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. 

Applications submitted by May 2, 2016 receive priority consideration. All applications due June 13, 2016.

We have extended the deadline for applications to June 30, 2016.  

Application: 2016 SIYAC and IYC application

To email: download and email to SIYAC@iowa.gov
To Fax: print and fax to 515-242-6119
To mail: print and mail to:

Iowa Youth Congress
Iowa Department of Human Rights
Lucas State Office Building, 2nd Floor
Des Moines, IA 50319

We look forward to reviewing your application to take part in the 2016 Iowa Youth Congress.