East Valley Family YMCA Delegate Elected 69th Youth Governor


On February 11-14, 2016, over 4,000 YMCA Youth & Government (Y&G) delegates visited the state capitol for the 68th Model Legislature & Court (MLC), and for an unprecedented, fourth consecutive year, a student from the LA Y was elected as the 69th California Youth Governor. Sworn into office was Ariana Trujillo, a high school junior and a member of the East Valley Family YMCA. 

Garrett Ashby, a fellow delegate from East Valley Family YMCA, was also awarded the Michael J. White Spirit of the Y & G Award, named after the late program director of the California Youth & Government from 1998-2001. The award recognizes a participant who personify Michael’s enthusiastic spirit, love for others, servant leadership, and passion for Youth & Government. 

The California YMCA Youth & Government’s Model Legislature & Court has been a premier youth leadership and civic development program since 1948. A six-month, learn-by-doing experience, MLC teaches the values of democracy by bringing together high school students from across the state to experience government first-hand. By writing, proposing, debating, budgeting and passing legislation, teens learn how to solve community problems through the democratic process within the settings of the state senate chambers, state supreme courthouse and governor's office.

Ariana will succeed the 68th California Youth Governor, Nicolas Gardner of our San Pedro & Peninsula YMCA. Nicolas followed in the footsteps of Lena Gavenas from our South Pasadena San Marino YMCA, while Sam Leichenger from our Westside Family YMCA was the first of our consecutive LA Y delegates to win the California Youth Governor seat.

“I’m extremely proud of all of our delegates,” said Alan Hostrup, YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles’ President & CEO.“The success of Ariana and Garrett is testament to the strength of our Youth & Government program. Y&G is a program that I participated in as a teen, and continue to believe is one of the Y’s greatest strengths. With 2016 being an election year, I could not be more delighted to have such strong leadership from the teens who represent our Association.”

The LA Y was the single largest YMCA Association represented at the 68th Model Legislature & Court with more than 1,000 delegates in attendance.