It was ‘Back to Work’ for our 73rd Assembly. Although we were not able to grace the halls of the Capitol due to COVID protocols, we were able to safely meet in person in Springfield. Democracy is not a spectator sport, and can happen anywhere. And so that is what we did – we met at the Crowne Plaza and at the Bank of Springfield Center. 750 students debated, discussed, presented and ‘did’ democracy, and it was so good to be back!

Scroll down for a list of our Student Leadership Team, Student Award Winners and our Volunteer Service Award Winners!

Student Leadership Team:

Major Officers

Aayush Gupta, Waubonsie Valley
Chief Justice:
Nikhil Venkat, Metea Valley

Lt. Governor:
Thrinav Sathya, Metea Valley
Secretary of State:
Calvin See, Neuqua Valley

Presidents of the Senate:
Sanjay Ganesh, Neuqua Valley
Emma Spence, Sesser-Valier
Ragnav Taneja, Neuqua Valley

Speakers of the House:
Jasmine Castillo, Sesser-Valier
Shaun Fieldman, Neuqua Valley
Delaney Kirk, Gateway Region Y

Executive Director of Lobbyists:
Cynthia Jing, Neuqua Valley


  • Aida Adam, United Township
  • Zeennah Akorede, Carmel Catholic
  • Abhinav Arun, Waubonsie Valley
  • Ross Bodine, Williamsville
  • Aleigha Bunnell, Sesser Valier
  • Sam Crutcher,Sycamore
  • Jaleel Drones-Akins, Kenwood Academy
  • Lily Garcia, Bradley Bourbonnais
  • Kyle Gorman, Normal Community
  • Eesha Gowda, Carterville
  • Usman Khan, Waubonsie Valley
  • Prisha Kittu, Carterville
  • Andrew Mann, Bradley Bourbonnais
  • Brooklyn McKee, Sesser Valier
  • Leslie Moreno, United Township
  • Osasu Okungbowa, Richards
  • Shruti Panse, Neuqua Valley
  • Farah Rahman, Waubonsie Valley
  • Sage Reagan, Gateway Region Y
  • Abby Robinson, Neuqua Valley
  • Will Roney, BBCHS
  • Amara Saleem, Metea Valley
  • Omnia Salih, United Township
  • Yashas Sardesai, Neuqua Valley
  • Naina Sarup, Neuqua Valley
  • Hansika Sathianarayanan, Neuqua Valley
  • Jack Schuerenberg, Waubonsie Valley
  • Salimah Scott, Neuqua Valley
  • Anusha Selva, Neuqua Valley
  • Daksh Shandilya, Neuqua Valley
  • Tyler Shasteen, Carterville
  • Anish Singh, Neuqua Valley
  • Wanrou Sun, Neuqua Valley
  • Asha Suresh, Neuqua Valley
  • Kadija Sylla, United Township
  • Ela Taneja, Neuqua Valley
  • Zach Trubitt, Eisenhower
  • Vidya Venkatachalam, Neuqua Valley
  • Gabe Woolsey, Sesser-Valier
  • Megan You, Gateway Region Y

Devotion Leaders

  • Asher Bates, Sesser Valier
  • Josh Yeley, Williamsville

Executive Director of Lobbyists

  • Cynthia Jing, Neuqua Valley

Assistant Director of Lobbyists

  • Sofia Afreen, Lake Park High School
  • Khushi Aggarwal, Lake Park High School
  • Nolan Armstrong, Mt. Vernon Township
  • Luke Barry, Sesser-Valier High School
  • Sarah Faustino, Stagg High School
  • Seamus Keough, Stagg High School
  • Zack Massoni, Carmel Catholic High School
  • Yasmeen Nogura, Stagg High School
  • Brady See, Neuqua Valley High School
  • Emerson Zhang, Neuqua Valley High School

Clerk of the House

  • Brianna Jones, Eisenhower
  • Suhaani Singh, Neuqua Valley
  • Louisa Wilson, Williamsville

Secretary of the Senate

  • Sebastian Rebidas, Stagg
  • Meiling Sun, Neuqua Valley
  • Olivia Tipton, Sesser-Valier

Sergeant-at-Arms of the House

  • Sydney Erickson, BBCHS
  • Sid Jaignanesh, Neuqua Valley
  • Makenna Reedy, Williamsville

Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate

  • Bailey Neibch, Frankfort
  • Paridhi Ranjan, Waubonsie Valley
  • Landen Zimmerman, BBCHS



  • Liz Arias, Lake Park
  • Lea Bartos, Lake Park
  • Joey Brant, Lake Park

Social Media Editor

  • Madison Powell, Lake Park

Assistant Social Media Editors

  • Kendall Eddington, WWS
  • Ellie Ford, Williamsville

Video Producers

  • Tess Earl, United Township
  • Nikhil Senthil, Metea Valley


CHAIR: Lt. Governor Thrinav Sathya, Metea Valley

VICE CHAIR: Lauren Verthein, Metea Valley

Aiste Siupienius, Addison Trail

Alexandra Sullivan, Andrew High School

Megan Muzzey, Batavia High School

Norah Thurow, Batavia High School

Nicole Huffaker, Bradley Bourbonnais Comm.

Gianna Randazzo, Bradley Bourbonnais Comm.

Michelle Nolasco, Carl Sandburg High School

Zeenah Akorede, Carmel Catholic High School

Tyler Shasteen, Carterville

Sage Regan, Gateway Region YMCA

Joey Brant, Lake Park High School

Roshini Ashrit, Metea Valley High School

Thrinav Sathya, Metea Valley High School

Nikhil Venkat, Metea Valley High School

Lauren Verthein, Metea Valley High School

Jackson Snodgrass, Mt. Vernon Township

Nate Gonzalez, Naperville North/Central

Kunal Daftari, Neuqua Valley High School

Anya Pulluru, Neuqua Valley High School

Calvin See, Neuqua Valley High School

Sam Haggarty, Normal Community High School

Nathaniel D’Orazio, Northeast Independent

Alexis Degler, Pinckneyville

Maggie Stacey, Sesser-Valier High School

Scott Lichamer, Sycamore High School

Esha Agrawal, Waubonsie Valley High School

Aayush Gupta, Waubonsie Valley High School

Leoni  Reilley, Wheaton North

Amelia Carnana, Wheaton Warrenville South

Patrick Herr, Wheaton Warrenville South

Ross Bodine, Williamsville High School

Student Award Winners:


Blue House              Yashas Sardesai – Neuqua Valley

Blue Senate             Ela Taneja – Neuqua Valley

Gray Senate            Reagan Basso – Sesser-Valier

Gray House             Abby Robinson – Neuqua Valley

Orange Senate        Gavin Smith – Waubonsie Valley

Orange House         Ross Bodine – Williamsville



1 Miriam Niestat-Kenwood Academy

2 Zack Massoni-Carmel Catholic

3 Sanjay Bommisetty-Metea Valley


1 Rudy Shen-Neuqua Valley

2 Glenna Bottom-Wheaton Warrenville South

3 Kacper Bizub-Stagg


1 Emerson Zhang-Neuqua Valley

2 Sriman Tipirneni-Waubonsie Valley

3 Brady See-Neuqua Valley



1 Meiling Sun – Neuqua Valley

2 Phoenix Calabrese – Sycamore

3 Nina Mendes – Neuqua Valley


1 Kaelyn  McGhie – Neuqua Valley

2 Sabrina Tse – Naperville Central

3 Emma Fennes – Sesser-Valier

White-Tailed Deer

1 Suhaani  Singh – Neuqua Valley

2 Julia Surzykiewicz – Lake Park

3 Sam Calderwood – Wheaton North


Winner of Clerk-Bailiff Forum and Head Clerk Bailiff

Shria Devarakonda – Waubonsie Valley

Winners of Thunderdome

Taylor         Sarah Rush, Sanjana Sivakumar (State-Appellee) – Metea Valley

Fletcher      Nikhil Venkat, Neha Tokala (State-Appellee) – Metea Valley

Best Written Opinions – People v. Taylor: Court 2; People v. Fletcher: Court 9 (Honorable Mention Court 10)

People vs. Taylor- State-Appellee

Bench Memo

  1. Esha Agrawal, Dishita Mansukhani – Waubonsie Valley
  2. Sarah Rush, Sanjana Sivakumar – Metea Valley
  3. Gavin Hewawasam, Rohan Mendes – Neuqua Valley

Oral Argument

  1. Sarah Rush, Sanjana Sivakumar – Metea Valley
  2. Esha Agrawal, Dishita Mansukhani – Waubonsie Valley
  3. Gavin Hewawasam, Rohan Mendes – Neuqua Valley


  1. Esha Agrawal, Dishita Mansukhani – Waubonsie Valley
  2. Sarah Rush, Sanjana Sivakumar – Metea Valley
  3. Gavin Hewawasam, Rohan Mendes – Neuqua Valley

People vs. Taylor – Defendant-Appellant

Bench Memo

  1. Saniya Desai, Samhita Subramanian – Waubonsie Valley
  2. Darby Elo, Taylor Shi, Betty Smith – Naperville Central/North
  3. Diyadatt Seeryada, Areesha Sundrani – Waubonsie Valley

Oral Argument

  1. Darby Elo, Taylor Shi, Betty Smith – Naperville Central/North
  2. Shreya Jaisingh ,Madeline Walbridge – Metea Valley
  3. Vishnu Mahesh, Arnav Shandilya – Neuqua Valley


  1. Darby Elo,Taylor Shi, Betty Smith – Naperville Central/North
  2. Shreya Jaisingh, Madeline Walbridge – Metea Valley
  3. Saniya Desai, Samhita Subramanian – Waubonsie Valley

People vs. Fletcher- State-Appellee

Bench Memo

  1. Rishika Gaddamanagu, Anya Pulluru, Vivian Durkin, Neuqua Valley
  2. Eshaam Bhattad, Rajan Sukhatme   – Stevenson
  3. Charles Becker, Michael Partyka   – Lake Park

Oral Argument

  1. Nikhil Venkat, Neha Tokala   – Metea Valley
  2. Raja Chokkalingam, Gavin Ebenezer   – Waubonsie Valley
  3. Sri Marapudi, Sahil Chari   – Metea Valley


  1. Rishika Gaddamanagu, Anya Pulluru, Vivian Durkin, Neuqua Valley
  2. Eshaam Bhattad, Rajan Sukhatme   – Stevenson
  3. Raja Chokkalingam, Gavin Ebenezer   – Waubonsie Valley

People vs. Fletcher – Defendant-Appellant

Bench Memo

  1. Krystyn Shae Reyes, Janelle Zhou   – Waubonsie Valley
  2. Ayesha Ajaz, Tara Vijay   – Waubonsie Valley
  3. Shreya Anand, Dhivya Chari   – Waubonsie Valley

Oral Argument

  1. Krystyn Shae Reyes, Janelle Zhou   – Waubonsie Valley
  2. Cadence Fung, Shadan Al Zuhari, Tori Barson – Wheaton Warrenville South
  3. Shaun Jacob, Ronak Chandrana, Ethan Hung – Neuqua Valley


  1. Krystyn Shae Reyes, Janelle Zhou   – Waubonsie Valley
  2. Shreya Anand, Dhivya Chair   – Waubonsie Valley
  3. Ayesha Ajaz, Tara Vijay   – Waubonsie Valley

Passed Bills:

Click HERE for a link to the bills passed and signed by our Governor, Aayush Gupta this year.

Volunteer Service Awards:

Youth and Government would like to acknowledge the following advisors, board members and program volunteers that give of their time and talents to make Illinois YMCA Youth and Government the best program for civic engagement, leadership, and learning democracy. Thank you so much!


5 Years

Dominique Estes                  Judicial Advisor, Alumna of Waubonsie Valley

Mary Kettering                     Head Advisor, Chicago Academy of the Arts, Alumna Batavia

Sheri Wigant                          Head Advisor, Kishwaukee, Alumna Kewanee

10 Years
Michael Barnes                    Judicial Advisor, Alumnus Stevenson

Dennis Favaro                      Head Advisor, McHenry Co., Former Board of Directors Member, Former Youth Governor, Alumnus Bradley Bourbonnais

Alexandra Hamilton            Advisor Lake Park

Aaron Henricks                    Advisor Oswego

Brandon Krozel                    Program Volunteer, Former Program Board, Former President of the Senate, Alumnus Wheaton Warrenville South

Christopher MacDonald      Judicial Advisor, Alumnus Stevenson

Richard Mitchell                   Judicial Advisor, Wheaton Warrenville South

David Overstreet                  Judicial Advisor, Alumnus Mt. Vernon Township

15 Years

Catherine (Cat) Bishir         Judicial Advisor, NeuquaValley

Rachael Dovgin                     Program Volunteer, Head Advisor Richards, Former Program Board Chair

Stephanie Pinta                    Head Advisor Kenwood Academy, Development, Alumna Westmont

Nick Romano                        Former Head Advisor Andrew, Development

Brenda Shay                          Head Advisor Oswego

Jeff Sichz                               Advisor Lake Park, Program Board Member, Alumnus York

Paul Whisler                         Advisor Neuqua Valley

20 Years

Don Fulmer                           Advisor Laker Park

Tammy Schutzenhofer       Judicial Advisor Neuqua Valley

25 Years

Diane DeLorenzo                 Program Board Vice Chair, Alumna Leyden

Matt Donkin                          Former Board of Directors, Alumnus West Frankfort

Jared Knapp                          Board of Directors, Alumnus Mt. Vernon Township

Karen O’Shea                        Former Program Board Chair, Alumna Stagg

30 Years

Dawn D’Orazio                     Head Advisor Northeast Independent, Former Board and Program Board member, Former Youth Governor, alumna Galesburg

Suzanne Whitehead            Head Advisor Gateway Region Y, Program Board Chair, Alumna Governor French Academy

Lincoln Award for Extraordinary Volunteer Service – Robert Lampros


5 Years

Levonne Cescolini-Boyer        Head Advisor, Addison Trail

Robin Chang                              Advisor, Waubonsie Valley

Emily Depasquale                     Program Board, Lobbyist Coordinator, alumna BBCHS

John Gulley                                Advisor, Sesser-Valier, former Program Board,  alumnus, Sesser-Valier

Bob Maroney                            Board of Directors

10 Years

Krishna Appalaneni                  Judicial Advisor, alumnus Waubonsie Valley

Melodee Garner                       Advisor, Sesser-Valier

Justin Gomez                             Program Volunteer

Alexandra Hamilton                Advisor, Lake Park

Mark Lobes                                Head Advisor, Andrew

Jeffrey Ptacek                            Head Advisor, Carmel Catholic, Program Board, alumnus Leyden

Zach McCoy-Brock                   Program Volunteer, alumnus Waubonsie Valley

15 Years

Matthew Livesay                      Program Board, Judicial Advisor

Fred Tietze                                 Program Volunteer

Kevin Tucker                             Program Volunteer, former Program Board Vice Chair

20 Years

Sean Docherty                          Advisor, Mt. Vernon

Jay Robertson                           Advisor, Lake Park

Adam Zmuda                             Head Advisor, Stagg

25 Years

Jennifer Lacroix                        Program Board, Judicial Coordinator, alumna Evanston Township

Amanda Tucker                        Former Board of Directors, alumna Galesburg

30 Years

Timothy Johnson                      Head Advisor, Naperville North, former Board of Directors

Chris  Kirk                                   Board of Directors, alumnus Mt. Vernon Township

Retiring   David Severance                      Advisor, Waubonsie Valley