“We will all … make mistakes. At times, we will feel the intensity of simply being human, of being flawed … but see, those human flaws are really not what’s important. What’s important is that we try. What’s important is that even in imperfection, even in the heat of feeling human; we keep pushing onward. We listen. We learn. With each time we feel imperfect, we grow as individuals, and as leaders. What’s important is that we keep going.”

Lainey Newman, Opening Ceremony

Throughout the week, Presiding Officer Lainey Newman’s continuous message has been: While we are here to achieve greatness, no one is perfect. Lainey started Youth in Government as a freshman and came to the YMCA Youth Conference on National Affairs for all four years. She has served her state program in Pennsylvania as Senate Majority Leader, twice as lieutenant governor and once as governor. She made it to Plenary her third year on The Mountain.

Lainey can remember back to when she was a young delegate and watching the P.O.s be so confident and amazing. She still looks up to many of them and is honored to be able to hold this position.

Lainey hopes to provide other delegates with the same incredible experiences she has had. She wants every person who comes to CONA to gain something from the experience, whether it is from chamber or outside of them. She loves being able to hear conversations between people from all over the country that you cannot hear anywhere else.

Copy of Laney Newman by Abbie

Lainey delivers a speech to delegates during opening ceremony. PHOTO by Abbie Skladan

Lainey expresses amazement at the opportunity to serve in this leadership position and stresses once more that the P.O.s are not perfect.

“We’re not perfect, we make mistakes, we mess up Parli-Pro, but its been a blast so far. Hearing the inspiring debate is super rewarding.”

Lainey is majoring in government and minoring in global health and policy at Harvard University. She hopes to go to law school, where she plans to focus her efforts in the area of either labor laws or anti-trust laws. Farther into the future, she wants to work in politics Pennsylvania, where she is currently interning for the governor of Pennsylvania.

By Ashley Hatch, CO