Attend a National Program

How to Attend

In addition to our state Youth and Government programs and Youth Cabinets, the Y hosts several national programs that are available to students from all states and territories.

Read more about each of these experiences on our national programs page. If your state doesn’t have a formal Youth and Government program with a process for selecting participants, review the steps below to represent your state:

Changemakers Institute | Summer
Registration is open to students from all states, and opens online each spring. The Institute takes place over 6 weeks, and is primarily virtual with a new in-person experience coming in 2022.

Conference on National Affairs (CONA) | Summer
For students from states without a Youth and Government program, you can register to represent your state at CONA as an individual delegate. You’ll be grouped with other individual delegates from around the country as part of a multi-state delegation during the conference.

National Judicial Competition (NJC) | Summer
To attend NJC, you’ll need to organize a team of students, along with an adult chaperone, and choose whether you want to take part in our trial or appellate court competitions.

Youth Advocate Program | Winter
For our Youth Advocate Program that takes place during YMCA National Advocacy Days in Washington, DC, we select two students per state to join staff and volunteers as we advocate for the Y’s legislative priorities with Members of Congress. This opportunity is open to all high school students in all states, and applications open early each fall.

Youth Governors Association (YGA) | Year-round
For those states without Youth and Government programs, all high school juniors/rising seniors can apply to be appointed as the Youth Governor of their state, and serve during their senior year. Appointed Governors will join our elected Governors as members of the Youth Governors Association.