From Delegate to Briefings Manager for a Presidential Candidate: Spencer Perry was passionately involved with California YMCA Youth & Government (Y&G)’s Model Legislature & Court (MLC) from his first high school until he walked the graduation stage. He served on the California YMCA Board of Directors and as Vice President of the Albany Delegation, but recalls serving as the 65th Youth Governor as his most thrilling and challenging role at Y&G. Following high school graduation, Spencer attended the George Washington University, graduated with degrees in Public Policy, Economics, and Computer Science, and influenced policy at the highest levels of government from the White House to Congress. Now, Spencer serves as the Briefings Manager for California Senator and Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris.

Finding His Path: A flyer in a dog park, another soon-to-be freshman to join in the plunge, and a 2-minute debate. That’s all it took to inspire Spencer’s lifelong commitment to Y&G. In a room full of program veterans, Spencer recalls his first MLC meeting feeling nervous and overwhelmed. As the meeting closed, the delegation pushed him to rival a Senior in a debate on the merits of Batman and Superman. They ended the match with unbridled applause, the sort of support and welcome unique to Y&G.

Looking Back on Y&G: Spencer reminisces about the sheer excitement, personal growth and comradery in the MLC. On his winning run for office, he states, I ran for office four times before being elected Youth Governor. When I did win, it was because I asked other delegates for help. I made the campaign about the people I was with and it changed everything. After winning, the support I felt from those around me was
immeasurable. Support followed Spencer across the country from Sacramento to South Carolina. After years of a rigorous legal battle for civil rights, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of his mothers’ case, ultimately returning marriage equality to California. Of that experience, Spencer shares, “I should have been in California celebrating. My fellow delegates raised my spirits by planning a celebratory moment—sparklers included. In an overwhelming moment, my delegation was like a second family”.
For Those Interested in Joining Y&G: Spencer is a self-professed introvert who would rather be at home with a book and his dog than at a podium in the Sacramento Convention Center. When asked what brought
him to Y&G and pushed him to run for office, he’ll tell you that there isn’t a more welcoming, more challenging, more fascinating place out there. It inspired his career, stoked his ambition, and, by his account, “it changed my life.”

We sincerely thank Spencer for his dedication to the MLC program and wish him much continued success!

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