August 1-4, 2021

55 emerging leaders, ages 16-25, will convene in Fairbanks for the 2021 Conference of Young Alaskans.
Will you be one of them?

Alaska Municipal League is proud to host this year’s Conference with a municipal focus, addressing critical issues facing local governments.

Participants will help by contributing their perspectives, drafting and deliberating upon questions facing local governments:

    1. How could local control be enhanced within the unorganized borough?
    2. What is an appropriate transition from general law to home rule local governments?
    3. How should a tax base be evaluated to make sure that revenues are in place to provide services?
    4. What role do local governments have in ensuring quality of life and sustainability of communities?
    5. What should the relationship be between the State and its political subdivisions?

Application Deadline - EXTENDED TO MAY 31st!








Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Conference of Young Alaskans?
The Conference of Young Alaskans will bring together 55 Alaskans to learn, discuss and deliberate topics that directly impact Alaska’s local governments. Attendees (delegates) will work together in plenary and breakout sessions to create vision statements, priorities and action items about these topics. Final vision statements will be produced after a consensus has been reached. The final reports will be presented at the Summer Meeting of the Alaska Conference of Mayors.

Why should I attend COYA?
Participating in COYA allows you to have a voice in Alaska’s local governments. The final reports will be distributed to all of Alaska’s cities and boroughs – allowing your government leaders to know what your priorities are for the State. Additionally, delegates will engage with some of Alaska’s foremost political, business and community leaders through interactive sessions.

When and where is it?
August 1-4, 2021 in Fairbanks

Who is the Conference of Young Alaskans for?
COYA is for Alaskans between the ages of 16-25 who are interested in municipal and state affairs.

How much is it to attend?
Thanks to our sponsors, delegates will attend free of charge. Transportation, lodging, meals and conference materials are paid for each delegate to ensure access and equity to all selected delegates.

How do I apply?
Applications are available on The deadline to submit your application is May 10. Applications will be reviewed by the COYA Advisory Committee. Applicants will be notified of acceptance by May 28.

What if I have more questions?
Contact Portland Highbaugh at or by phone at 907-790-5306.

Sponsor the COYA

Interested in sponsoring?
The Sponsorship Packet has more information about how your organization can get involved and support Alaska’s future leaders.


The Final Report of the 2021 COYA will be presented to the Alaska Conference of Mayors on the final day of the Conference. It will further be distributed to every legislator, mayor, Governor, and our congressional delegation.  For an example of the incredible work done at COYA, you can download or view the 2012 COYAFinal Report here »

We invite you to apply for this unique opportunity.

By participating, you’ll join a small and elite group of Alaskan’s most promising young leaders. You will be in the first group to participate at COYA with a municipal government focus.


The application deadline has been extended! Applications are due by 11:59 PM on May 31, 2021!

You can submit your application by Email, USPS Mail, Fax or by using our Online Application.

Email:   Download the 2021 COYA Application PDF and once completed, you can email it to

USPS Mail:  Download the 2021 COYA Application PDF and once completed, mail it to COYA, c/o Alaska Municipal League, 1 Sealaska Plaza, Suite 200, Juneau, AK 9980

Fax:   Download the 2021 COYA Application PDF and once completed, you can fax it to 907-463-5480

Online:  Online Application (below)

Questions?  Need more information? 
Contact Program Coordinator Portland Highbaugh at or 907-790-5306.

My experience with COYA helped solidify my hope for the future of our state. Being part of a dialogue between young people, centering on the very real challenges that Alaska faces, was enlightening and I was impressed by the intellect and compassion of my fellow delegates.

Elise Sorum-Birk

Legislative Aide to Representative Josephson

Apply Online