Conference on National Affairs (CONA) 

The YMCA Conference on National Affairs (CONA) is a ten-day, national Youth & Government conference usually held in North Carolina. This year the conference will be virtual. Youth & Government programs from around the country send their best and brightest to debate proposals of national and international importance. The conference is a multi-round debate competition, formatted very similarly to our National Issues Commission program.



Participant Selection: Any delegate who has attended at least one of this year's Model Legislature & Court (MLC) sessions may apply for CONA. The third/Spring Session of the 73rd MLC program will run from February 22nd - March 27th. Spring Session registration is open if you need to register. Here is a link to our registration site. Scholarships for Spring Session are available via this scholarship application. Delegates with strong debate or speaking skills and a propensity for leadership are encouraged to apply for CONA.  A selection committee will review each application and select a maximum of 30 students and 6 alternates (3 female and 3 male) for this year's conference.

Preparing for the Conference: In preparation for the conference, participants will attend a mandatory training weekend. During this weekend, participants get an overview of the program including goals, outcomes, and expectation, group work opportunities with fellow participants, proposal preparation, and group bonding. By the end of the weekend all participants will have a rough draft of the proposal they will bring to the Conference.

Conference Life: Once on “The Mountain”, participants engage in a competitive debate process. Proposals are scored on:

  • National/International Importance
  • Evidence of Research
  • Feasibility
  • Preparation and Presentation
  • Originality

The top proposals, as scored and ranked by all CONA participants, continue to advance until reaching the final rounds.


Important Dates

Application link is here

Application deadline: 03/15/21

Training Weekend, (Virtual or Southern California): 05/01/2021

54th YMCA Conference on National Affairs: 06/23/21 - 07/01/21

Scholarships are available here

CONA Registration link is here.




For more general information on the program including fees and scholarship opportunities, please contact


Delegation Leadership

Conference Life Committee - Andre Mirzayan
Roundtable Chair - Emma Barrosa
Proposal Sharing Group Leaders- Jackson Downey, Thomas Schramm, Jad Soucar, Linus Sun, Andre Mirzayan

2019- Premier Delegation
Conference Life Committee - Aidan Blain
Committee Chair - Lily Azat
Committee Clerk - Piper Samuels
Roundtable Chair - Marina Carlstroem
Proposal Sharing Group Leaders- Carsten Sondergaard & Scott Nagatoshi



General Assembly & Plenary Delegates

General Assembly  
2020: Jasmine Johnson, Khenadi Christmas, Julia Gomez,  Henry Fix, Eric Connelly, Natalia Osorio, Adam Hussain

2019: Carsten Sondergaard , Nate Davis, Jad Soucar, Aidan Blain

2020: Jackson Downey

2019: Tyler Wong, Scott Nagatoshi, Lily Azat, Solomon Kim, Piper Samuels



Awards & Accolades

Distinguished Delegate Award  
2020: Khenadi Christmas & Jackson Downey

2019: Scott Nagatoshi & Emily Kopp

Outstanding Proposal  
2020: Andre Mirzayan & Jad Soucar 

2019: Piper Samuels, Decreasing methane by giving subsidies to farmers who feed their cows seaweed

Blue Ridge Spirit Award 
2020: Khenadi Christmas 

2019: Solomon Kim

Contact Us

YMCA Youth & Government

(916) 287-9622

1792 Tribute Road, Suite 480
Sacramento CA 95815 (map)

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