Youth Government Day 2018
The State of the News, Media, and Democracy

Tuesday, April 17, 2018  •  8:45 am – 2:00 pm  •  Goodwin Hall Auditorium


Attention: High School Teachers

You and your students are invited to join White House correspondent and CNN analyst April Ryan and a panel of experts as they discuss the current state of news, the media, and democracy in the U.S. at Youth Government Day 2018.*

To register for the conference, email

Participation is free, but limited to 600 students. Complimentary continental breakfast and buffet lunch will be provided.

For more information about Youth Government Day, call (630) 829-6049.
April Ryan

Keynote address by April Ryan, the White House reporter for American Urban Radio Networks and a CNN political analyst.

Ryan has a unique vantage point as the only black female reporter covering urban issues from the White House, a position she has held since the Clinton era. She is the author of the award-winning books The Presidency in Black and White and At Mama's Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White. Ryan's latest book, Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House, will be published in September 2018.


Youth Government Day 2018 Panelists

Pat Brady
Pat Brady

WGN Radio/Former GOP Party Chair

Pat Brady is a former federal prosecutor, Big 4 consulting firm partner, member of the Republican National Committee, and Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party. He regularly appears on local, national, and international news programs including ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, and France 24. He has also appeared in major print and on-line publications like the Washington Post, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Politico, The Hill, Huffington Post, and others.

Natasha Korecki
Natasha Korecki


Natasha Korecki is a senior reporter for POLITICO and authors Illinois Playbook. She previously worked as chief political writer at the Chicago Sun-Times in politics. Korecki covered the criminal trials of two consecutive governors. She created The Blago Blog and is the author of Only in Chicago (Agate) based on the Blagojevich probe and trials. Korecki earned her journalism undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and her Masters of Public Affairs Reporting at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Mia Sato
Mia Sato

Better Government Association

Mia Sato is the engagement editor at the Better Government Association, a nonprofit, nonpartisan government watchdog organization based in Chicago. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2017 with an emphasis in reporting and a double major in political science. Prior to joining the BGA, she was an intern at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and was the editor-in-chief of a campus magazine.

Eric Zorn
Eric Zorn

Chicago Tribune

Eric Zorn is an op-ed columnist and daily blogger for the Chicago Tribune who specializes in local news and politics. Zorn is a 1980 graduate of the University of Michigan, where he was a senior editor at the Michigan Daily and a creative writing/English literature major. He came to work at the Chicago Tribune in summer 1980. He is a co-author of the 1990 book Murder of Innocence, an exploration of the life and tragic rampage of Winnetka schoolhouse killer Laurie Dann.



*Sponsored by Benedictine University’s Center for Civic Leadership, a nonpartisan, nonprofit institution aimed at improving civic engagement, leadership and education in Illinois. The Youth Government Day conference advances these goals by exposing high school students to the challenges facing Illinois and the United States in the 21st century.

Youth Government Day

“The CCL is doing vital work in Illinois. Illinoisans of all ages must learn to be active and engaged citizens who monitor the efforts of the elected officials who work for us, day in and day out. Reboot Illinois joins the CCL in the commitment to seeding and spreading that message in order to grow an improved Illinois.”

– Madeleine Doubek
publisher, Reboot Illinois LLC

About Youth Government Day Conferences

Every spring, the Youth Government Day Conference sponsored by the Center for Civic Leadership (CCL) provides an opportunity for high school teachers to engage their students on pressing topics of local, state and national concern with panel discussions by high-profile political figures and other experts. The event is free to teachers and students.

Each conference focuses on a specific topic or theme, which allows students to learn through interactive hands-on simulations and engage in discussion with expert panelists on a variety of key issues.

To learn more about Youth Government Day, connect with us.

Past Youth Government Day topics have included
  • Domestic violence
  • Corruption and mismanagement in the state of Illinois
  • The Affordable Care Act and health care reform
  • Criminal justice reform
  • Grassroots political mobilization and protest politics
  • Terror threats and government crisis response
  • The economic challenges of living below the poverty line
  • National security and global terrorism

The Center for Civic Leadership

For more information, contact or (630) 829-6460.