The YMCA of Central & Northern Westchester’s Youth & Government Teens have returned from a successful NYS Youth & Government State Conference!

The YMCA of Central & Northern Westchester’s White Plains Youth & Government (YAG) teens spent this past weekend, March 22nd through March 24th, at the NYS YAG State Conference. Teens traveled to Albany to participate in a weekend filled with mock democracy. This was our biggest year yet, with 40 teens from White Plains attending the conference.

We presented eight bills, with six passing in their respective chamber and going on to be signed by the Youth Governor. Three of our four attorney teams successfully won their cases defended to the NYS Youth Justices, with five selected justices from White Plains.

In addition to our group success, several individual teens from our program took home statewide awards. Juniors Asa Hamlin and Hayden Cohen received outstanding debater awards in their chamber, and Sophomore Charis Choi was awarded outstanding attorney. Additionally, Asa Hamlin was elected as the Comptroller in a general election of all attendees, marking the first year this position has been elected.

Outstanding Debater Hayden Cohen

Outstanding Debater
Asa Hamlin

Outstanding Attorney
Charis Choi

Beyond awards, several teens were recognized and selected to represent NYS at Nationwide Conferences. Asa Hamlin was chosen to attend the YMCA Conference on National Affairs, while Sophomore Nathan Beck and Junior Camila Cruces were named as alternates. Furthermore, three students, Senior Naydia Jone, Junior Lance Anthony, and for the second year in a row Sophomore Francis Fokoue, were selected to attend the National Judicial Conference. Both conferences will take place over the summer, uniting YAG students from across the country.

While celebrating these achievements, it’s important to recognize the dedication and support the teens have shown each other throughout the year. Since September, they’ve spent countless hours researching, writing, and practicing for this weekend. Above all, our students seized the opportunity to engage with the next generation of change-makers, exchanging ideas and learning from one another. The YMCA of CNW is proud to support this initiative and provide a platform for students to delve into government policies and methodologies.


Youth and Government™ is a national YMCA program that empowers students from every corner of the U.S. to engage in experiential civic participation, debate issues, and propose legislation. The NYS Youth & Government State Conference serves as the culmination of this program, where students act as delegates and debate bills on the legislative floor.

The YMCA of Central & Northern Westchester congratulates all our participants and celebrates their accomplishments. We eagerly anticipate next year’s conference, continuing our mission of empowering the next generation of leaders.