ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Desmond Hotel hosted the YMCA’s Youth and Government Summit for students to participate in their own mock government on Friday. Lieutenant Governor of Youth and Government Emma Hanlon shared how over 500 students get involved.

“We spend a weekend at the Desmond and at the Capitol. We propose legislation, argue cases, and become the media,” explained Hanlon.

The YMCA is no stranger to helping the youth find their place in government. President and CEO of the Capitol District YMCA David Brown has seen the program expand nationwide over the years.

“The program started in the early 1930s right here in Albany, New York. It grew and grew and grew. So it grew beyond New York State, and now the Youth and Government program and YMCA is across the country,” described Brown.

The special guest of the event was none other than Lieutenant Governor of New York Antonio Delgado. A YMCA member as a child, Delgado was pleased to see a program like this for the kids of today.

“It’s important for everybody to know that our young people are engaged. We should do everything that we can collectively as adults, as teacher, as mentors, as advocates. We should do everything we can to continue to enable them, to empower them. To be able to put them in spaces where they can learn and grow, which is exactly what this program is doing,” said Delgado.