The Rockland County YMCA had 48 delegates from Pearl River High School and Nyack High School who successfully participated at the 80th New York State YMCA Youth & Government Conference, joining over 500 students at the State Capitol in Albany this March.
Annarose Heilferty, Pearl River High School senior, did an outstanding job as Principal Justice for District 4 along with fellow Justices Conor Burke and Diana Gashaj, who presided over their courtrooms where student attorneys presented and argued their cases. Brian Flaherty, Pearl River High School sophomore, excelled in the presentation of a legal brief. He was selected Head Attorney for his firm which was recognized as “Best Firm.” Emily Anselmi and Katie Parnow, seniors at Pearl River High School, were also recognized for Best Legal Brief.
Owen Voutsinas-Klose, Nyack High School Junior, served as Commissioner of Economic Development in the Governor’s Cabinet and was noted as an excellent debater. Owen was selected among the top 20 students from New York State to be a delegate at the YMCA Conference on National Affairs in July. Adrian Stepper, Nyack High School Junior, and Lilly Umana, Pearl River High School Junior, both served well as committee chairs and debaters in the Assembly. They also served as Presidents of their high school Youth and Government Club.
Students who proposed bills that were nominated for Best Bill included Emma Anderson, Lea Brand, Hannah Curley, & Brian Lovejoy; and Adrian Stepper, Jordan Hirsch, Ben Goldsmith & Luca Reggiardo.
Chuck Maze, District 4 coordinator, said “We are proud of our delegates from Rockland County who performed excellently at the State Conference together with students from the Middletown and White Plains YMCAs.” He acknowledged the dedicated advisors who prepared the students for the conference, including Mike Burruano, Nyack High School Social Studies Teacher; Lynnette Marshall, YMCA Board Member; Brian Fitzgibbons, Pearl River High School Social Studies Teacher; Fiona Burke, Pearl River School District Nurse; Joeffrey Gardner, YMCA Teen Director and Maria Henry, Sophia Marshall and Nicholas Marshall, Collegiate Advisors.
The YMCA received a grant from the First Niagara Bank Foundation to sponsor leadership training and provide scholarship assistance for students to participate in the conference. In addition, the Pearl River Rotary Club and the Nyack Rotary Club provided scholarship assistance for students to attend.