A Banner Year for California Delegation at 50th CONA Conference

California YMCA Youth & Government wrapped up another successful year at the Conference on National Affairs (CONA). This year was a milestone for CONA, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary of the first conference in North Carolina. Various California alumni visited the mountain to gather with alumni and celebrate the milestone.

Each delegate attending CONA develops and writes their own proposal on a national or international issue. Various stages of debate ensue with only the highest scored proposals advancing in each round of debate. This year, of the 25 proposals representing California, 19 proposals advanced to Second Committee. Even more impressive, 16 proposals advanced to Third Committee.

6 proposals advanced to the final and highest level of debate:

  • 4 proposals advanced to General Assembly, including proposals authored by 70th Youth Governor Cole Cahill (South Pasadena San Marino), Maria Contreras (Conejo Valley), Charlotte Campbell (SFY/Embarcadero) and Deven Matthews (Westchester).

  • 2 proposals received the highest scores in Third Committee and advanced to Plenary to be debated by the entire conference. Those proposals were authored by 69th Youth Governor Ariana Trujillo (East Valley) and Youth Board Member Acacia Gabriel (Westchester).


The California delegation received other awards and recognitions during the conference as well:

  • 70th Youth Governor Cole Cahill (South Pasadena San Marino) and 69th Youth Governor Ariana Trujillo (East Valley) were selected as Outstanding Statesmen.

  • Shahzad Khan (East Valley) was awarded Outstanding Proposal.

  • Alumnus and current Barnard College student, Julia Khan, served as 2017 Presiding Officer for the conference. Read more here about her experience.

  • Blake Sloan (Westside) was selected to serve as a 2018 Presiding Officer for the next conference.

  • Maria Contreras (Conejo Valley) was award the “Blue Ridge Spirit” award by the California delegation

  • Volunteer and Board Member Cathy Saliba was awarded the Paul Grist Award for her long-time dedication to the conference. Cathy has served as an adult advisor for CONA for over 20+ years.


Y&G is proud of all the achievements from this year. Congratulations to all the delegates and volunteers who participated and a special thank you to our CONA advisors (Dustin Buss, Andrew Blumenfeld, Cathy Saliba and Anthony Volkar) for all of your hard work!

CONA 2017


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