A student with he YMCA Youth and Government program, Gabby Alvarez of Spokane became the first Youth Governor ever to address the Washington state Senate.

Alvarez was elected as the Youth Governor for the 2019 Youth Legislature statewide program and recently gave a speech on the senate floor on Monday, Feb. 18.

Alvarez was originally born in China, and was adopted by a Spokane couple when she was 11 months old. She grew up extremely shy and with a speech impediment, but found confidence through YMCA's Youth and Government program.

“The Y helped me find my voice. They helped me blossom," Alvarez said.

Through support of her advisers and teammates, she was given an honorary title of "Future Congressperson" in her first year in the program. She even advocated for the YMCA to Congress at the Capitol in Washington D.C.

"When you donate to our Giving Campaign you ensure our charitable mission helps all of us reach our fullest potential, just like Gabby did, when she found passion and confidence through our YMCA’s teen programs," YMCA of the Inland Northwest CEO Steve Tammaro said.

To hear more about Gabby's story, click here.