PHOTO: The Community YMCA President & CEO Rhonda Anderson meets Y delegates Tom Toman (left) and Will Roddy, both students at Red Bank Catholic High School.

Youth & Government Conference in Trenton

Shrewsbury, NJ  –  Local students representing The Community YMCA were named Outstanding Delegation at the Youth and Government Conference April 12-14 at the historic statehouse in Trenton, NJ.  This is the third consecutive year that the Y’s delegates have received this honor.

“We are so proud of our students and congratulate them on their achievements,” said The Community YMCA President and CEO Rhonda Anderson.  “Youth and Government is just one example of how the Y helps cultivate young leaders through civic engagement programs.”

YMCA Youth and Government introduces middle and high school students to the New Jersey state legislative process through experiential learning simulating government functions, said Jackie Normyle, The Community YMCA Teen Development Specialist.

“The program teaches our students the value of thinking critically about issues that affect their schools, communities, and state, and challenges them to come up with practical solutions,” Normyle said.

This year, 50 students from 12 local schools made up The Community YMCA delegation.

Delegates spent their time debating, lobbying and being introduced to new and inventive ideas to address the issues facing New Jersey today. By the conclusion of the conference, students had developed a deeper understanding of state government and were empowered to be proactive citizens in their communities, Normyle added.

Y students honored at the conference’s closing ceremony were: Aisling Howley (Red Band Regional) and Chelsea Walsh (Middletown South) for successfully passing their legislation; Anthony Cendagort, (Saint John Vianney), Outstanding Legislation Award; Tom Toman (Red Bank Catholic), elected Senate Clerk; Aisling Howley recognized with the Outstanding Statesperson Award; and, Brendan McKeever (MAST), Kaitlin Noel (Holmdel HS), and Grace Candio (Middletown South) selected by their advisors to serve on the Youth Secretariat for next year’s conference.  Tom Toman, Aisling Howley and Chelsea Walsh were honored with invitations to the prestigious Conference on National Affairs (CONA).


For more information about the Y’s youth and teen programs, click here.