YIG Conference on National Affairs

From the Desk of Jamie Mulry, Youth In Government & Teen Director:

Now that we are home safely from our Youth in Government trip to North Carolina for the Conference on National Affairs (CONA), I would like to let everyone know how great of a trip we had. During the week, Wisconsin delegates were successful in advancing their proposals all the way to 3rd Committee (the top 100 proposals of the conference out of 600), One of our delegates was given an award for Outstanding Proposal (the best 10 out of the 600 proposals), and Wisconsin as a whole was awarded Premiere Delegation, which is an extreme honor given to those states that submit all forms, payments and proposals on time, as well as exhibiting the 4 core values of the YMCA during their time at the conference.

However, and perhaps more importantly, 23 students from across Wisconsin came together as a delegation and became a family over the course of the week. Some of the students didn't know each other before they boarded the bus on June 27th, and by the time they arrived back in Wisconsin on July 4th, they had 22 new best friends. In addition, the Wisconsin delegates collaborated with delegates from 38 other states and were able to bring their views and opinions to the forefront in a respectful and productive way. In today's sometimes hostile and polarized political climate, it seems almost unimaginable that people with differing backgrounds and beliefs could come together and constructively discuss political issues. However, what I saw at CONA was nothing but respect and reverence for the beliefs of others, which truly embodies why this program is so powerful and has such a profound impact on its participants. Every year that I attend this conference, I am continually amazed and awed at the intelligence, maturity and vision these teenagers exhibit. And above all, please know that Wisconsin was represented well by 23 of the best!

Thank you for continuing to allow me to be a part of this amazing and inspiring program - it is a privilege and an honor.


Jamie Mulry