Patricio Ortiz Represents South Carolina at CONA

July 10, 2019

Patricio Ortiz, GSSM's Student Council President, was one of the South Carolina representatives at the Conference on National Affairs (CONA). Patricio placed very highly in his proposal, presentation, and debate at the National Youth in Government (YIG) event. The conference, held at the YMCA Blue Ridge Center in Black Mountain, NC, included 620 delegates from across the country. Patricio was one of 25 delegates representing South Carolina, including all elected officials and outstanding statesmen from the 2018 state YIG conference. His presentation, "Striking the Red Dragon: Undermining China's Global Threat," made it to the highest committee, General Assembly, and was only one of 24 proposals selected for this honor. The top 30 were selected from a field of 620 proposals. Patricio gave a 27-minute presentation and engaged in debate in front of the entire delegation.

The finalists were selected on:
1.    Originality
2.    National importance
3.    Evidence of author research
4.    Presentational skills
5.    Feasibility

“Because CONA is a national conference, with people from every state representing, there are often many diverse, different, and opposing beliefs present during the week. But the wonderful thing about CONA is the level of respect everyone shares. There’s an immense commitment to freedom of speech and dialogue (instead of yelling like we see all the time on TV). And given today’s alarmingly polarizing climate, it gives me a lot of hope for the future of our nation and what collaboration can achieve. As for my proposal, I advanced to the General Assembly because my peers ranked me highly. I’m happy that they believed in what I had to say and proud that they respected my speaking skills enough to get me there,” said Patricio after briefly asking him about what it meant for him to participate in this and be recognized for good work.

Congratulations to Patricio for his impressive representation of our school and state!

Click here to learn more about CONA.

Pictured above: Patricio Ortiz giving his 27 minute presentation. Patricio and the rest of the South Carolina group wearing tacky clothes for a group photo on the last day.

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