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Iowa Youth Congress

What is IYC?

Mock Congress Group PhotoThe Iowa Youth Congress (IYC) was created in 2006 by the Department of Human Rights (DHR) to enhance opportunity and broader representation of all Iowans in the government process.  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.


The Iowa Youth Congress (IYC) seeks up to 100  Iowa high school-aged youth to participate in a year-long program which provides students the knowledge, abilities, and direction to advocate and enact change in their communities and at the state level for issues affecting youth. IYC will hold regional meetings throughout the year and will engage students in a one-day Mock Congress event. 


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.

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.

We are currently not taking applications for Iowa Youth Congress. Please check back in March 2021 for the 2021 -2022 term. 

Legislative Initiatives:

IYC Members

For the 2019-2020 IYC term, members voted on a Legislative Agenda in October at the annual Mock Congress event.

IYC's 2019-2020 legislative initiatives include:

To see previous youth issues IYC has advocated for click here:

IYC Youth Members


2020-2021 Members

Past IYC Rosters

IYC and Service

Event Photos

Governors Volunteer Awards

Pictured Above: IYC members accepting Governor's Volunteer Award on behalf of IYC.                                                                                                                                                             

IYC goes beyond youth advocating for various issues they find important, IYC members also serve their community. An important element of the IYC program is that members must complete 30 hours of community service, along with completing a self-designed service project. Examples of past service projects include delivering homemade blankets to children in the hospital, sports equipment drives, girls in STEM initiatives, and more.

Click Here for a report highlighting the service projects of the 2018-2019 members.


Day on the Hill

Day on the Hill 2020

Members at the Day on the Hill have the chance to use the skills they have learned in the fall to advocate for the issues they have been working on all year. Click here to see photos from

the event.

Click here to see past year photos. 

2019 Mock CongressMock Congress

IYC Members at the Mock Congress event, hosted in the fall of the IYC term, have the chance to debate and vote on their legislative agenda for the year.

Click Here to see more photos from the 2019 event.  

Click here to see photos from past events



For questions regarding applying or IYC in general, please contact the IYC Coordinator at