Young Senate and House hopefuls merged on the Florida Capital Saturday for the 46th Annual YMCA Youth in Government Day.
More than 35 states across the country have similar programs where students can become everything from an executive cabinet member to a member of a lobbyist firm. Where high school students get a first hand look at the inner workings of state government.
Organizers say this experience is priceless for future lawmakers.
"Students actually having to write bills," said Samantha Lane. "Write proposals, it becomes there own experience."
The YMCA Youth in Government Day host between eight hundred to 1,000 students from across the Sunshine State every year.
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- 1851 - Thomas Sullivan founded the first YMCA in the U.S.
- 1885 - Sumner Dudley started YMCA Camping.
- 1891 - James Naismith poses with the first basketball team.
- 1910 The first Father's Day is observed at the Spokane, WA. YMCA.
- 1926 - The YMCA in Richmond Heights, MO. launched the first Y-Indian Guides, a parent child program.
- 1936 - Basketball became an Olympic sport.
- 1950 - YMCAs operate 20 colleges across America.
- 1961 - President John F. Kennedy founded Peace Corps, patterned after the YMCA World Service program started more than 70 years before.
- 1964 - Volleyball, invented at a YMCA in 1895, becomes an Olympic sport.
- 1971 - Leo Marsh created the YMCA Black Achievers program to encourage leadership among black youth.
- 1991 - Basketball, invented at a YMCA turns 100 years old.
- 1997 - YMCA in America formally adopt one logo and the theme "We build strong kids, strong families and strong communities."
- 2000 - YMCAs are the nation's largest provider of child care, serving 500,000 kids each year.
- 2001 - YMCA celebrates 150 years in America. The 2,400 YMCAs are the nations largest, not-for-profit community service organizations, serving more than 17 million people.
Source: www.ymca.net (YMCA Web site) contributed to this report