Conference on National Affairs

For High School Students

The YMCA Youth Conference on National Affairs (CONA), takes place at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly, Black Mountain, NC. CONA gives high school students from across the state the opportunity to convene and discuss issues facing society with peers throughout the country. In preparation, students write original proposals focusing on national and international concerns and refine their oratory and debate skills during a fun-filled pre-conference trip. During the conference, delegates engage in intensive discussion and debate while taking in a wide array of perspectives. The conference offers an opportunity for students to critically think about the nation, network with peers from different parts of the country, and have fun in the spirit of lively debate. 

Only this year's MLC Program participants can be selected for a spot in the California delegation. Up to 25 delegates and 4 alternates will be selected. The 2025 application for delegates and advisors, along with other important deadlines and information, will be shared in January 2025, check back!

2025 CONA dates are TBA. All California CONA delegates will participate in a one-day training conference, a minimum of 4 virtual delegation meetings, and a pre-trip, all in addition to their time “on the Mountain” for the CONA conference in Summer 2024. All dates will be confirmed and posted once conference dates are announced. 

Need-Based scholarships are available.  

Contact for more information.