Published January 8, 2004
Five students from St. John Neumann Regional Catholic School participated in the Junior National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C. The conference is a unique leadership development program for middle-school students who have been recognized as future leaders.
Breandan Cotter, Elizabeth Krysiek, Edward McCreary, Alyssa Varhol and Taylor Welchel attended the conference.
The theme of Junior NYLC is “The Legacy of American Leadership,” and the curriculum leads students through the evolution of the United States, from the days of the original 13 colonies through the signing of the Declaration of Independence, from the Civil War through the civil rights movement, and from the Boston Tea Party to the present.
“One of the key elements of the Junior National Young Leaders Conference is to allow students the opportunity to place their feet in the same footsteps of our country’s forefathers,” said Mike Dasday, executive director of the Congressional Youth Leadership Council. “By actually walking the halls of Congress, this program provides faces and places to historic events, thereby eliminating much of the abstract nature of studying history solely through books.”
These SJNRCS students participated in a reception on Capitol Hill, where they met with a variety of representatives from congressional offices. In addition, they visited colonial Williamsburg, Va., the Smithsonian Institution’s American History Museum, historic Harper’s Ferry, W. Va., and Port Discovery in Baltimore.
Johanna Tanzman, a senior at Arlington High School in LaGrangeville, N.Y., and a CYLC alumnus, encouraged the students to exercise their abilities as leaders in the conference’s closing keynote address.
“You are all fantastic leaders. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t,” she said. “But when you go home, don’t allow your powerful mind to go to waste. If you have an idea, bring it to fruition. Be a tutor, volunteer at a soup kitchen, do something to better someone else’s life. Make it your business to make a difference in your school and in your community.”
CYLC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization. Founded in 1985, the council is committed to fostering and inspiring young people to achieve their full leadership potential. More than 400 members of the U.S. Congress join this commitment by serving on the CYLC Honorary Congressional Board of Advisors. In addition, more than 40 embassies participate in the council’s honorary board of embassies.