A new group of young leaders was sworn into office last week as part of the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati’s annual Youth in City Government Conference. This year’s two-day conference included more than 200 Cincinnati high school students from 14 participating high schools.

According to the YMCA, participating students were asked to perform roles of prosecution, defense and witnesses (with expert trial lawyer guidance) in a mock trial as part of a variety of structured activities meant to engage the young individuals.

The new Youth Cincinnati City Council was also treated to a question and answer session with local politicians, a luncheon with Judge Tyrone Yates, a gavel ceremony, and a proclamation from the U.S. Senate before being sworn in before Cincinnati’s regular City Council meeting at 2pm on Wednesday, October 6.

“This conference is all about helping young people to develop skills that will allow them to thrive as they move forward with their lives to become productive, socially responsible adults,” Jana Nattermann, youth zone director for the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, stated in a prepared release.

The year-round YMCA Youth in City Government program gives Cincinnati students the opportunity to learn about local, state, national and international politics. It offers teen participants a venue to gain leadership skills, strengthen their ability to express ideas clearly and persuasively, and learn fellowship by working together with peers from diverse backgrounds.

YMCA officials say that the year-round program is structured to provide an opportunity for students to learn about local, state, national and international politics while also gaining valuable leadership skills.

YMCA Youth City Council – Mark Brockman (St. Xavier High School); Nick Staresinic (Moeller High School); Evan McConaughy (St. Xavier High School); Mary Crema (Mt. Notre Dame Academy); Le’Asha Moore (Hughes Center); Kyle Denman (St. Xavier High School); Brandon Craig (Withrow University); and Brandon Weiss (Wyoming High School). Standing is YMCA Youth Mayor Patrick Regan (Aldersgate Christian Academy) and YMCA Vice Mayor Jonte’ Pegg (Hughes Center).