JrNYLC (Junior National Young Leaders Conference) in Washington, D.C.

August 22, 2010
My hotel phone rang. At 5 o’clock in the morning. “Wake up call”, cooed the male voice on the other line. Great. A prank call. “I’m gonna get you back,” was all I managed to mutter, and I hung up on my friend CJ, who was probably snickering with his roommate in his suite two floors below me.

I recently attended a program held in Washington, D.C. called the Junior National Young Leaders Conference, also known as JrNYLC. JrNYLC is a conference for mature, high achieving middle school students. The program gives students the opportunity to learn about leadership and to study great leaders of the past. Qualified teachers from across the nation each nominate a few students, in which they see leadership potential, to attend this conference.

The week-long programs at the JrNYLC are created to develop students’ skills and confidence to help them reach their full leadership potential. They can use this knowledge and spread it throughout their communities by educating other students.

The lessons, or “leadership meetings”, were taught by skilled faculty advisors that are assigned to several groups of students on the first day of arrival. I attended these meetings with other students, kids just like me. I first thought every day of the entire trip was going to be crammed with lessons and paperwork. But I was wrong. The counselors approached lessons in different ways, even through games and activities that brought the other students and me together. There were also field trips, scheduled every day, to national monuments and historical museums. These field trips were designed to teach students important lessons about our country’s culture, history, and past leaders while letting them have an abundance of fun. Toward the end of the conference, an entire Hard Rock Café was reserved only for JrNYLC participants. Loud music was being played, and students enjoyed an exciting night filled with delicious food, dancing, singing, and spit ball wars.

I also thought that most of the students who attended might be nerds and that I wouldn’t make any good friends during the trip. Again, I was completely wrong. I met quite a few really awesome people like CJ (who “generously” woke me up three hours before breakfast) and forged strong friendships throughout the course of the conference. The schedule allowed ample opportunities to enjoy time with other people from different parts of the nation; to talk and laugh about things that aren’t school related. From and with fellow students, I learned and experienced life changing things that aren’t soon to be forgotten.

I learned a lot about leadership and my country’s history during my stay at Washington, D.C., and I definitely feel self-reliance that I have never felt before. Other students around me, even the shy, timid, and soft-spoken students, developed their confidence to communicate their feelings more effectively without fear. The skills students attained and cultivated, will certainly lead them to become key leaders in their communities. I, beyond any doubt, believe that the JrNYLC was where I enjoyed one of the most amazing weeks of my life.

Join the Discussion

This article has 9 comments. Post your own now!

@babydollwoury_ said...
May 11, 2015 at 8:23 pm
I have been nominated and I'm going this summer. tuition cost a fortune !
J-DOG69 said...
Mar. 21, 2015 at 1:21 pm
Um.....middleschool only? I think i got one but I'm in Highschool....
Izzy said...
Mar. 3, 2015 at 6:05 pm
Thank you for this! I got nominated and I'm trying to convince my parents to allow me to go to Washington D.C by myself. I live in Utah, so it's a big concern. This will help a lot!
Alida said...
Feb. 18, 2015 at 8:44 am
Thank you for your feedback. As a parent trying ti decide whether to send their kid, I was looking for comments from someone who attended. Sounds like you had a unique experience you would not have had otherwise.
KayGee said...
Aug. 15, 2011 at 10:57 am
I went to JrNYLC as well and then NYLC over the course of a couple of years. It was an amazing experience!
kitkat said...
May 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm
How much does it cost?
koolaid-dragonwarrior replied...
May 19, 2011 at 10:28 pm
around $1,900, not including airfare.  thats what it was when i went in 2008.
diegogonzalez99 replied...
May 28, 2011 at 9:31 am
It is still 1900 dollars, but your teacher has to nominate you
kyra369 replied...
Nov. 14, 2014 at 8:16 am
It costs 2,000 dollars, notincluding transportation. Your teacher doesnt have to enroll you but it's easier to go if they did.
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