2023 Assembly Wrap Up!

We were back! Back in Springfield and back in the beautiful Illinois Capitol for our 74th Assembly. Over 890 students came to Springfield, debated, presented and met students from all over Illinois.

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

Student Leadership Team:

Major Officers

Luke Fosdick, Neuqua Valley
Chief Justice:
Zoe Williams, Metea Valley

Lt. Governor:
Daksh Shandilya, Neuqua Valley
Secretary of State:
Wanrou Sun, Neuqua Valley

Presidents of the Senate:
Aleigha Bunnell, Sesser-Valier
Jaleel Drones-Akins, Kenwood Academy
Ragnav Taneja, Neuqua Valley

Speakers of the House:
Cynthia Jing, Neuqua Valley
Delaney Kirk, Gateway Region Y
April Zhang, Neuqua Valley

Executive Director of Lobbyists:
Jillian Mannisto, Neuqua Valley


  • Khushi Aggarwal – Lake Park
  • Krish Aggarwal – Metea Valley
  • Justas Bobrevicius –  Westmont
  • Musa Bukhari – Waubonsie Valley
  • Sam Caputo – Sycamore
  • Riya Chintala – Metea Valley
  • Emily  Chiou – Neuqua Valley
  • Nathaniel D’Orazio – Northeast Independent
  • Daniel Ghera – Stagg
  • Dayton Harper – Mt. Vernon Township
  • Aaliyah Hawk – Sesser-Valier
  • Veronica Hummert – Gateway Region Y
  • Sam Hung – Neuqua Valley
  • Alex Jeong – Neuqua Valley
  • Brianna  Jones –  Eisenhower
  • Oliver Keicher – Sycamore
  • Elizabeth Kleckner – Sycamore
  • Kathy Lee – Neuqua Valley
  • Thomas McComb – Sycamore
  • Kaelyn McGhie – Neuqua Valley
  • Violet McIntyre – Richards
  • Nate  Miller – Sycamore
  • Vanessa Orintas – Richards
  • Farah Rahman – Waubonsie Valley
  • Salimah Scott – Neuqua Valley
  • Sanjana Settipalli – Neuqua Valley
  • Gracie Shopinski – Woodlawn
  • Hannah Utlaut – Sesser-Valier
  • Megan You – Gateway Region Y

Devotion Leaders

  • Asher Bates, Sesser Valier
  • Tyler Boecker, Oswego
  • CJ George, Carmel Catholic
  • Nick Waldron, Williamsville

Assistant Directors of Lobbyists

  • Aditi Amarnath – Neuqua Valley
  • Belle Connolly – Carl Sandburg
  • Jordon Gully – Gateway Region Y
  • SIddharth Jaiganesh – Neuqua Valley
  • Claire Nash – Neuqua Valley
  • Maya Rounds – Sesser Valier
  • Emily Shield – Waubonsie Valley

Clerk of the House

  • Parker Johnson –  Benton
  • Shritan Tummala – Bloomington Normal Y
  • Sarah Haque – Neuqua Valley

Secretary of the Senate

  • Hunter Boyle – Andrew High School
  • Cole Buchanan – Benton
  • Vanshika Shetty – Neuqua Valley

Sergeant-at-Arms of the House

  • Jakarri Baugh – Eisenhower
  • Grace Nelson – Batavia
  • Eli Prost – Mt. Vernon

Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate

  • Chelsea Boothe – Batavia
  • Gunnar England – Waltonville
  • Sam Owens – Kenwood Academy



  • Kendall Eddington – Wheaton Warrenville South
  • Luisa Frackiewicz – Lake Park

Social Media Editor

  • Madison Powell, Lake Park

Assistant Social Media Editors

  • Hannah Faulkner, Lake Park


CHAIR: Lt. Governor Daksh Shandilya – Neuqua Valley

VICE CHAIR: Jackson Snodsmith – Mt. Vernon

  • Aiste Siupienius – Addison Trail
  • Megan Muzzey – Batavia High School
  • Norah Thurow – Batavia High School
  • Nicole Huffaker – Bradley Bourbonnais Comm.
  • Avery Kelly – Carl Sandburg High School
  • Hannah Adkins – Frankfort Community
  • Veronica Hummert – Gateway Region YMCA
  • Krish Aggarwal – Metea Valley High School
  • Roshini Ashrit – Metea Valley High School
  • Zoe Williams – Metea Valley High School
  • Nate Gonzalez – Naperville North/Central
  • Luke Fosdick – Neuqua Valley High School
  • Sneha Ghosh – Neuqua Valley High School
  • Wanrou Sun – Neuqua Valley High School
  • Michael Amato – Neuqua Valley High School
  • Nathaniel D’Orazio – Northeast Independent
  • Thomas  Johnson – Oswego High School
  • Carson Moore – Oswego High School
  • Sallee Collins – Pinckneyville High School
  • Vanessa Orintas – Richards High School
  • Olivia  Tipton – Sesser-Valier High School
  • Henry Meinert – Sesser-Valier High School
  • Oliver Keichner – Sycamore High School
  • Cassandra Chamoun – Sycamore High School
  • Tryton Fassett – Waltonville High School
  • Musa Bukhari – Waubonsie Valley High School
  • Maya Sanny – Waubonsie Valley High School
  • Amelia Carnana – Wheaton Warrenville South
  • Ethan  Timm – Williamsville High School

Student Award Winners:


Blue House           Veronica Hummert – Gateway Region Y

Blue Senate           Hawkeye Pirtle – Whitney Young

Gray Senate          Thomas McComb – Sycamore

Gray House           Meiling Sun – Neuqua Valley

Orange Senate      Asha Suresh – Neuqua Valley

Orange House      Calvin Steger – Neuqua Valley



1 Camille Pirtle – Whitney Young

2 Alicia Labriola – Bradley Bourbonnais

3 Jordan Gully – Gateway Region Y


1 Layla Sutherland – Lake Park

2 Shreya Patel – Lake Park

3 Aditi Amaranth – Neuqua Valley


1 Sid Jaiganesh – Neuqua Valley

2 Uma Bisla – Waubonsie Valley

3 Yogitha Narala – Waubonsie Valley

Lobbyists of Distinction:

Ishita Borikar – Waubonsie Valley

Claire Nash – Neuqua Valley




1 Eliane Kadima – Neuqua Valley

2 Yashika Singh – Neuqua Valley

3 Jude Hackett – Wheaton North


1 Justin Wu – Sycamore

2 Aditi Kaushal – Neuqua Valley

3 Vanshika Shetty – Neuqua Valley

White-Tailed Deer

1 Chelsea Boothe – Batavia

2 Parker Johnson – Benton

3 Truman Carnine – Mt. Vernon


Head Clerk Bailiff: Siya Malhotra (Neuqua Valley)

Best Written Opinion

  • Court 4 (judging People v. Archer)
  • Court 12 (judging People v. Wilson)

Thunderdome Teams (winner indicated in bold and *)

People v. Archer

*Defendant/Appellant, Saniya Desai, Jeanelle Zhou (Waubonsie Valley)*
State/Appellee,Vikrant Avineni, Saatvi Durai (Waubonsie Valley)

People v. Wilson

Defendant/Appellant, Pranay Madey, Nishant Sharat (Metea Valley)
*State/Appellee, Samhita Subramanian, Maya Sanny (Waubonsie Valley)*


People v. Archer – Defendant/Appellant
Bench Memo

  1. Darby Elo, Emilee Renc (Naperville Central)
  2. Akshara Arvind, Rida Majeed, Pravallika Gadupuri (Waubonsie Valley)
  3. Saniya Desai, Jeanelle Zhou (Waubonsie Valley)

Oral Argument

  1. Saniya Desai, Jeanelle Zhou (Waubonsie Valley)
  2. Shaun Jacob, Anika Chandola, Lily Hoffman (Neuqua Valley)
  3. Darby Elo, Emilee Renc (Naperville Central)

Overall Score

  1. Darby Elo, Emilee Renc (Naperville Central)
  2. Saniya Desai, Jeanelle Zhou (Waubonsie Valley)
  3. Akshara Arvind, Rida Majeed, Pravallika Gadupuri (Waubonsie Valley)

People v. Archer – State/Appellee

Bench Memo

  1. Allison Fecke, Arian Lagarija, Gavin Sonntag (Wheaton Warrenville South)
  2. Annika Char, Anjana Viswanathan (Metea Valley)
  3. Vikrant Avineni, Saatvi Durai (Waubonsie Valley)

Oral Argument

  1. Vikrant Avineni, Saatvi Durai (Waubonsie Valley)
  2. Akina Manelkar, Iniya Chandrakumar (Waubonsie Valley)
  3. Suchita Rao, Sonika Arunodhayam (Metea Valley)

Overall Score

  1. Vikrant Avineni, Saatvi Durai (Waubonsie Valley)
  2. Allison Fecke, Arian Lagarija, Gavin Sonntag (Wheaton Warrenville South)
  3. Akina Manelkar, Iniya Chandrakumar (Waubonsie Valley)

People v. Wilson – Defendant/Appellant

Bench Memo

  1. Mannsha Assudani, Divya Date (Waubonsie Valley)
  2. Megan Cereno, Lauren Smilie (Neuqua Valley)
  3. TIE for third:
    Sanjana Kamphampati, Rithika Manchala (Metea Valley)
    Mihir Tuteja (Metea Valley)

Oral Argument

  1. Pranay Madey, Nishant Sharat (Metea Valley)
  2. Ayesha Ajaz, Peter Eta, Teresa Salazar (Waubonsie Valley)
  3. Vibha Srikanth, Michael Amato, Katie Min (Neuqua Valley)

Overall Score

  1. Mannsha Assudani, Divya Date (Waubonsie Valley)
  2. Megen Cereno, Lauren Smilie (Neuqua Valley)
  3. Sanjana Kambhampati, Rithika Manchala (Metea Valley)

People v. Wilson – State/Appellee

Bench Memo

  1. Ethan Montanez, Sophia Daly (Wheaton Warrenville South)
  2. Achint Saberwal, Zoe Williams (Metea Valley)
  3. Hamza Ali Sheikh, Humza Asif (Waubonsie Valley)

Oral Argument

  1. Samhita Subramanian, Maya Sanny (Waubonsie Valley)
  2. Achint Saberwal, Zoe Williams (Metea Valley)
  3. Vikram Narasimham, Vallabh Arun (Waubonsie Valley)

Overall Score

  1. Achint Saberwal, Zoe Williams (Metea Valley)
  2. Samhita Subramanian, Maya Sanny (Waubonsie Valley)
  3. Shlokah Sarkar, Arushi Agarwal (Metea Valley)

Passed Bills:

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

2023 Service Appreciation 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

Tom Carroll – Board of Directors

Colby Huff –   Program Board, Alumnus of Raymond Lincolnwood

James Mattera – Advisor, Carl Sandburg

Jay Mehta – Advisor, Wheaton North

Cheri Peterson – Advisor, Mt. Vernon

Dominique Tucker – Board of Directors, Aluma of Bradley Bourbonnais

Kevin Worland – Program Volunteer

10 Years

Keagan Castro – Head Advisor, Wheaton North

Nadia Gonzalez – Judicial Program Volunteer, Alumna of Waubonsie Valley

Joshua Hall – Head Advisor, Alumnus of West Frankfort

John Noffke – Advisor, Naperville North

Shayma Patel – Judicial Program Volunteer, Judicial Advisor Naperville North/Central

Danielle Reehoff – Advisor, Lake Park

Kathleen Willis – Board of Directors, Alumna of AddisonTrail

15 Years

Phillip Garee – Board of Directors, Alumnus of Neuqua Valley

Pat Usher – Head Advisor, Carl Sandburg

20 Years

Lindsey Clark – Program Volunteer, Former Program/Board of Directors, Alumna of
Wheaton Warrenville South

Kelly Kasper – Head Advisor, Eisenhower, Program Board

Peter Landreth – Head Advisor, Westmont

John Powell – Head Advisor, Lake Park, Program Board

25 Years

Susan  Fuhrer – Advisor, Metea Valley, Program Board

30 Years

Craig Garner – Head Advisor, Sesser-Valier, Board of Directors, Alumnus Sesser Valier

Kristin Miller – Advisor, Sycamore, Former Board/Interim CEO, Alumna Mt. Vernon

By |2023-03-31T13:59:35-05:00March 28th, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

2021 Assembly Wrap-Up!

As one of our candidates said, ILYG2021 was the “Zoom Where it Happened.” The 72nd Assembly and 47th Judicial Assembly was virtual with almost 700 students participating. While we were not gracing the halls of the Capitol, democracy can happen anywhere; and that is what happened.

Student Leadership Team:

Major Officers

David Surzykiewicz, Lake Park
Chief Justice:
Thomas Musgrave, Bradley Bourbonnais

Lt. Governor:
Sameer Jain, Neuqua Valley
Secretary of State:
Sarah Wu, Neuqua Valley

Presidents of the Senate:
Namish Kaistha, Neuqua Valley
Kolton Powell, Williamsville
Emma Spence, Sesser-Valier

Speakers of the House:
Jasmine Castillo, Sesser-Valier
Kenzie Kirk, Gateway Region Y
Cooper Sohst, Oswego

Executive Director of Lobbyists:
Daksh Shandilya, Neuqua Valley

Complete 2021 Student Leadership Team

Passed Legislation:

  • Click HERE for a link to a list of our Passed bills for this year, signed by Youth Governor David Surzykiewicz, Lake Park High School
By |2021-05-12T13:21:38-05:00April 9th, 2021|News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Candidate Speeches from Pre-Leg I

We had speeches from our Major Officer Candidates for 2022 at Pre-Leg 1! Voting to see who will run at Assembly will be done at Pre-Leg II, December 4th. We will also be having a Candidate Forum closer to Pre-Leg II so you can get to know the candidates better!

Click here to go to the links for the speeches. It is password protected; please ask your head advisor for the password!

By |2020-11-18T15:18:15-06:00November 17th, 2020|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Message from 2021 Youth Governor- Elect

As students of Illinois Youth and Government, we represent the many regions, cities, and high schools of Illinois; thousands of interests, careers, and backgrounds; and we fight passionately to confront the issues facing our generation on the local, state, and national level. Yet –we, as a diverse, determined, and driven group of young people– share one common mission: bettering ourselves, and bettering the world our children will live in. Perhaps, if there is anything that we have learned from these past few months, it’s that in every challenge facing our nation– pandemics, natural disasters, and racial injustice– young people will not stay silent, will stand for their community and for their country, and will rise to the challenges that face their generation. Youth and Government is not only a program which teaches the principles of public service, but also a family which applies these principles in communities across Illinois. It is an incredible honor to be a part of Youth and Government, which offers not only the opportunity to learn democracy, but to live democracy. 

2021 Youth Governor Elect David Surzykiewcz

By |2020-09-23T15:05:23-05:00September 23rd, 2020|Uncategorized|0 Comments

A letter from outgoing Governor Logan Graham

To the 71st General Assembly of Illinois Youth and Government,

It has been an honor to serve as the 70th Youth Governor of the state of Illinois, and it has been an absolutely life changing experience. Participating over the last three years in Youth and Government has been a formative experience for me, and like many participants, it has inspired me to make my commitment to government and advocacy a lifelong one. 

Reflecting on my experiences within Youth and Government has reminded me of an FDR quotation that sums up the lessons of Youth and Gov very nicely: “Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us”. The awesome responsibility with which to impart the fundamental lessons of civic engagement and representative democracy are entrusted to Youth and Government, and it is with a happy heart that I acknowledge that every Youth Governor, myself included, is a very small part of this great tradition that spans back to Adlai E Stevenson’s time as the Governor of Illinois, and with any luck, will span on far into the future. 

The current political climate in our state and in our country is one characterized by fear. The trust in the stability and protection of governments worldwide have been questioned by the problems of the modern day. It is my firm belief that this program is instrumental in developing that trust, and in producing active citizens who will work to ensure that trust is not misplaced. 

Let me contribute what I can to the legacy of this program by offering a piece of advice: embrace nuance. The problems of modernity are not simple problems, and they certainly do not have simple solutions, despite what some political demagogues may imply. For success in Youth and Government and beyond, it is vital to accept that issues are extraordinarily complicated, and that nearly never does one person hold enough experience to fully grasp all of the complexities a topic may have. When we recognize that we must listen to others, and must accept the incredible multifaceted nature of democracy, everyone will be lifted up. 

Youth and Government gives everyone a platform to speak, but we must make the choice to listen. 


Logan Graham

Logan Graham
Logan GrahamYouth Governor, 70th General Assembly
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By |2019-08-06T10:24:53-05:00August 6th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

2019 Year-End Wrap Up

2019 Was a fantastic assembly, and a great way to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the program! Below see the people, moments, and legislation that made the weekend one for the history books.

2019 Officers:

By |2020-04-16T13:06:45-05:00June 12th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments
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