YMCA Conference on National Affairs (CONA) is a ten-day, nationwide conference organized by the YMCA of Montgomery, Alabama that takes place at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, North Carolina. The program offers opportunities for a young person to do research in the area of National and International concern; to organize this information into a documented proposal; to engage in intensive discussion and debate these proposals with understanding young people from other states.



Participant Selection: California YMCA Youth & Government sends 24 Model Legislature and Court participants to represent California. Alternate participants will be selected in case of any drops. It is mandatory that alternate participants attend the training conference weekend. 

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: Prior to the conference, participants take part in a pre-trip to various locations within the proximity of the conference site. Pre-trip activities consist of local points of interest, inactive games, local food, and study time to prepare for the conference. Once “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

Applications available in Reggo: TBD

Application deadline in Reggo: TBD

Training Weekend, (Southern California): TBD

53rd YMCA Conference on National Affairs, (Black Mountain, NC): TBD



For more general information on the program including fees and scholarship opportunities, please contact Richard Chapin at (916) 569-9326 or cona@calymca.org


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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