WASHINGTON, D.C. —This summer, over 250 outstanding middle school students from across the United States took part in an extraordinary leadership conference in Washington, D.C. Themed Voices of Leadership: Reflecting on the Past to Create the Future, the Junior National Young Leaders Conference (JrNYLC) introduces young people to the rich tradition of leadership throughout American history, while helping them to develop their own leadership skills.

"The aim of the Junior National Young Leaders Conference is to inspire students to recognize their own leadership skills, measure their skills against those of current and former leaders and return home with new confidence in their ability to exercise positive influence within their communities," said Marguerite Regan, Ph.D., Dean of Academic Affairs for the Congressional Youth Leadership Council (CYLC), the organization that sponsors JrNYLC. "Young people are not only welcome in Washington, D.C., they actually keep this city and our country running."

One of the 250 students was Breanna Rolle, an eighth grade student at Miami Springs Middle School who was nominated by her teacher, Douglas Dennis. Several people from the community, family, institutions and friends made contributions to Breanna’s church, St. Peter’s African Orthodox Church to assist with her expenses.

Breanna said that the trip was “a life changing experience because it taught me about leadership." The daughter of Samuel Rolle and Dianne Hicks-Rolle said she would like for more young people to have this “awesome” experience.

During the six-day program, from June 18-23; students took part in educational activities and presentations and explored relevant sites, such as Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in West Virginia and Washington, D.C.’s museums and memorials. In addition to examining notable U.S. leaders and historic figures, students study the impact of leadership throughout critical periods of American history including the Civil War and Reconstruction, World War II, the Great Depression and the Civil Rights Movement.

Upon completion of JrNYLC, students will have gained a greater sense of the role of individuals in American democracy, as well as the responsibilities of being a leader. CYLC is a nonpartisan, educational organization.

For additional information, visit us at www.cylc.org.