Each summer, up to 25 Missouri YAG participants are able to attend the YMCA Youth Conference on National Affairs (CONA). The weeklong conference is held at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in North Carolina, bringing together YAG students from over 30 states. CONA participants will research issues of national and international concern, organize this information into a written proposal, engage in intensive discussion, and debate these proposals with outstanding young people from other states.
Deposit of $100 is due to the YAG State Office. Payment can be made online or sent by mail to:
YMCA Youth and Government
PO Box 104176
Jefferson City, Missouri 65110
Program fee of $890 is due to the YAG State Office. Payment can be made online or sent by mail to the State Office.
Please complete the application below to apply for the YMCA Conference on National Affairs (CONA). The application deadline is February 16th by 11:59 p.m. Applications must be received by this date. Incomplete and/or late applications will not be considered.
Students applying to participate in CONA must have participated in a YMCA Youth and Government program in the past year. Submitting an application does not guarantee participation in CONA. Space is limited due to state limits set by the conference, which is a maximum of 25 students per state. Delegates will be selected to attend based on their application and their participation at the Youth and Government State Conference. Past participation at CONA is not a guarantee of selection.
The application requires you to submit an adult reference, which could be your delegation advisor, teacher, coach, community leader, etc. Your reference may be contacted to provide additional information to aid our selection process. The application also requires you to answer four questions, which are listed below. Please give some thought to these questions before submitting your application.
- How has your experience in the YMCA Youth and Government program prepared you to participate in a national YAG conference? (200 words or less)
- How do you hope to grow during your summer experience and how will you plan to use that growth to impact YAG (if you will be a returning delegate) or to impact your college/university/workplace (if you are a graduating senior)? (200 words or less)
- What are two pressing issues that you believe are facing our state or country? (200 words or less)
- What is one experience that helped shape who you are? (200 words or less)
The 2023 CONA program fee is $990 per student. Included in the fee is the cost of coach bus transportation to and from CONA, departing from St. Louis. The program fee includes lodging, most meals, and program expenses for the entire week. Students should bring between $40 and $50 for meals to and from CONA and any incidentals students may want to purchase at CONA.
Payment can be made online or sent by mail to:
YMCA Youth and Government
P.O. Box 104176
Jefferson City, MO, 65110
The State Office will mail one payment to CONA for all student registration fees. Fees are non-refundable once they are paid to YMCA Youth and Government.
Each student delegate participating in CONA is required to write a proposal on a matter of importance to our nation, and will debate that proposal in a series of committees at CONA. The proposal must be written on a topic with national or international scope. Proposals are submitted by each student online after registration and selection, and the YAG State Office will help students work on the drafts of their proposals.
Each state delegation can only have one proposal per subject matter. Once selected for CONA, students will receive an email from the State Office outlining the deadlines for proposal submission, including approval of topics.
The CONA Proposal Writing Guide (PDF) can assist you in developing your proposal. Please review before you begin researching and writing.