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Iowa Youth Congress

What is IYC?

Mock Congress Group PhotoIowa 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.


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.

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 for IYC are not currently being accepted. Please check back in March 2022.

Legislative Initiatives:

IYC Members

In October, IYC members voted on the 2020-2021 Legislative Agenda at the annual event: Mock Congress.

IYC's 2020-2021 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.


Legislative Prep Day 2020

Legislative Prep Day


Members of IYC enjoyed a virtual Legislative Prep Day, speaking to decision makers about the issues they are advocating for. They also got to see a live stream of the House and Senate, attended committee and subcommittee meetings, and listen to various speakers such as DHR Leadership and Representative Smith. Click here to see more photos from this event 


Click here to see past year photos. 

IYC Mock Congress 2020Mock Congress

IYC Members at Mock Congress,  hosted in the fall of 2020, had the  chance to debate and vote on their legislative agenda for the year.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic,  Mock Congress in was held virtually but was still a huge success.



"This was by far my favorite Mock Congress I've attended." - Third year IYC member

"This was such an amazing experience and I learned so much." - First year IYC member

Click here to see photos from past events



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