Newbury Park Teen Scott Nagatoshi elected California YMCA’s Youth & Government Youth Governor

Scott Nagatoshi

Newbury Park, Calif.—Sixteen-year-old Scott Nagatoshi, a junior at Newbury Park High School, was elected Youth Governor last week at the California YMCA’s Youth & Government conference in Sacramento. Nagatoshi campaigned for six months talking with delegations throughout the state culminating in a speech before 3,700 Youth & Government delegates at the conference. He beat out 20 candidates that were eventually narrowed down to two. It was close: Nagatoshi won by 30 votes.

Youth & Government is a statewide program that encourages high school and middle school youth to become active in their communities and become leaders for positive change. More than 3,300 high school students and almost 1,000 middle schoolers participate. Not only do the delegates learn about leadership, but also they acquire skills in public speaking, research and writing, teamwork, critical thinking and civic engagement.

As Youth Governor, Nagatoshi will preside over all state conferences, sit on the California Youth & Government board of directors and will lead a California delegation to compete this summer at a national conference. “My goal as Youth Governor is to make sure all kids who want to be involved can be,” says Nagatoshi. “I want to reach out to the underrepresented kids so all have a voice.”

Nagatoshi began in Youth & Government as a sixth grader at Sequoia Middle School in Model United Nations (Youth & Government’s middle school program). “At first, I was scared to talk, but everyone was so supportive,” says Nagatoshi. “That early involvement is what helped me find my voice, to gain confidence and want to be in leadership.”

Nagatoshi’s advice to any student thinking about joining Model United Nations or Youth & Government is to just try it. “There’s something magical about the program,” he says. “You make great friends from around the state, have fun and expand yourself as a person.”

“Scott is a really humble kid,” says Veronica Rodarte, who advises the Miller YMCA delegation (and was named Advisor of the Year at the Sacramento conference). “He’s genuine. I know he’ll make an impact.”

Helping Nagatoshi was Caryn Archer, a Newbury Park high school senior. She was Nagatoshi’s campaign manager throughout the election process.

For more information about Youth & Government, contact Rodarte at 818-429-8615,

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