Leadership Conferences for Teens
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Leadership Conferences for Teens
Hi - we're looking for something meaningful and engaging for our
son this summer - he's interested in politicals, the election,
government service, United Nations, and the like. He's a smart
cookie, very responsible, very good student, just finishing his
sophomore year at a local private school. Not a nerd, not a
brainic, just a very solid citizen interested in the inner
workings of democracy. He's looking into the Summer Institute
at Georgetown (or is it George Washington) offered by the Junior
Statesman of America. This looks interesting and high-end and
would give him an opportunity to go East and live on campus and
meet with high-powered insider-types. Very appealing. But it
also seems quite academic (term paper and all) and would prefer
a break from that over the summer (which is understandable). We
just received a brochure from the National Student Leadership
Conference . They appear to have great offerings that look
right up his alley (''Experience the Life of a Diplomat'', ''US
Policy and Politics''). But who are these folks? Has anyone
had direct dealings with either organization and could offer
feedback on the pros and cons of either program? There is no
JSA at my son's campus, and I think he'd have to start his own
chapter, and I'm not sure he's up for that. If anyone has any
leads on other great summer programs of this sort, either local
or back East, we'd be very grateful to benefit from your
mom of future senator
Your 10th grade son should go to the Junior Statesman of America (JSA)
rather than the National Student Leadership Conference. The JSA is a
well-respected and well-known organization.
My daughter attended 2 of the Nat'l Student Leadership conferences.
They were very expensive and not too loaded with content. Basically,
it is similar to a ''Who's Who'' in the professional world...if
someone doesn't know about it, it looks impressive, but it really
isn't. She didn't learn very much in the Nat'l Student Leadership
conferences, which she attended in 8th grade and then went to Obama's
inauguration in 11th grade. The inauguration trip, in particular, was
not very well organized After being promised that they the group would
attend the inauguration, my daughter's group was sequestered in a cafe
to watch the inauguration on a big screen t.v. She was able to attend
an inaugural ball, however.
My daughter had a high school friend, who was a member of the Junior
Statesman, and their organization was much more valuable in terms of
the content and learning opportunities.
Best of luck to your son!
go with the JSA
We are thinking of sending our seventh grade daughter to summer
camp with the Girl's Leadership Institute. If you have
experience with this camp we are wondering:
1) how was the camp overall
2) what did your daughter gain from this camp
3) have you seen a long lasting change in her
4) How did the staff handle home sickness
5) what kinds of girls are drawn to this camp
6) had you found a possible alternative, if so what was it, when
you looked at camps for your daughter that caused you to choose
gli over that camp.
Thanks so much
My niece went to the Girls Leadership Inst program last summer at
Smith College. She is shy, and her parents thought it would be good
for her. She liked it, but I don't think it was life-changing for
her. I don't know much more, it seemed fine, but not amazing.
Wondering whether any BPN families have any direct experience
with the Junior Statesmen of America program in general, and
more specifically, with the summer residence programs on the
East Coast. Our 16-year-old son is very interested in
political science, government, law and diplomacy, and I'm
impressed with the program as described on the website.
Would a liberal kid from Berkeley find a place in this group?
Is there a comparable program out there that we should pursue
for next summer that would better serve his interests? Any
feedback on JSA and/or other like programs would be much
Mom of future public servant
I have a young friend (I consider her a virtual daughter), now a
junior at Stanford, who was very involved in JSA while in high
school. She helped organize their regional meetings and attended
their summer program at Georgetown. She loved JSA, loved the
Georgetown program, and developed both a deeper appreciation of the
politican system and terrific leadership skills. It sounds like a
great match for your son.
Mom of big guys (and virtual mom of some girls)
Junior Statesmen of America is a wonderful organization. I was a
chapter president when I was in high school and learned a
tremendous amount. I attended a summer program at UC Davis, which
was fantastic. I'm sure the summer program in DC would be great as
well. You asked if a liberal Berkeley kid would fit in socially...
JSA is comprised of kids with a full-spectrum of political
perspectives. For teens, it's a great learning opportunity to find
out that you may like a person as an individual, even if you have
different political views. Another program, which is similar to
JSA, is the YMCA's Youth & Government, which my daughter is
involved in. One of the differences between the two programs is
that JSA [at least when I was a student] was more student-run than
Y&G. In JSA we planned every aspect of the program including all of
the conferences, from the conference content to arranging hotels
and transportation. JSA offered tremendous leadership
opportunities. Kids do a lot in terms of running Y&G as well, but
the program does have a young adult staff [who are great role
models, by the way]. I endorse both programs. Through her
involvement in Y&G I have seen my daughter become more mature,
politically aware and interested in public service. These are the
types of programs teens should be encouraged to join!
fan of JSA & Y&G
Has anyone sent their 8th or 9th grader to the National
Young Leaders State Conference? My child received a
nomination and I want to know if this is worth attending.
It is a 4 day conference in San Jose for nominated students
that costs $1325 offered this Fall and winter. thanks for
looking for advice
My daughter went to NYLC a couple of years ago and did not
find it that valuable, tho she met some great kids there
that have become fast friends. We were all caught up in the
idea that she was ''nominated'' but it really is a good
marketing strategy targeted to kids with decent academics.
Our daughter thought the info was too basic and that the
''prestiguous'' speakers promised were not necessarily
notables and not so inspiring. Overall, not a horrible
expereience but not worth the money either.
This doesn't directly answer your question, but my 16 year
old son just came back from a 10 day session for the
National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C. He
went because two students that had been there before him
raved about it, one even said it was the best week of his
life! My son came back tonight and also seems very pleased
He returned with no complaints(!) and only spoke highly of
his experiences. He seems to have learned about the
national government and D.C. in general, and has made many
friends around the country. I don't think they ever had a
chance to get bored as they kept a very busy schedule.
How this translates to the younger age group or to the
state program, I don't know. I just had to weigh in on the
associated program. It really has a lot to offer.
New Fan of NYLC
My daughter received an invitation by mail to the National
Young Leaders Conference. Does anyone know what this is and
whether it is worthwhile? It lists a number of people in
Congress on its board, but I don't know whether that means
anything or not. Thanks
My son recently received a solicitation from a similar
sounding organization, ''National Youth Leadership
Conference.'' This mailing also looked very impressive,
with numerous national political leaders listed as board
members/speakers for the group. It looked fairly
legitimate on its website, and so I checked with my son's
school's college advisor. She told me that yes, in fact
it's a very legitimate, well-thought of program, but
because of its expense, kids shouldn't do it just to
bolster their college resumes -- i.e. lower income kids
have much less access, and college admissions officers are
fully aware of the costs associated with the program (many
kids are ''nominated'' for invitations by way of high PSAT
scores). So it could be a good experience for your
daughter, assuming that the program suits her. I'd check
with a college advisor to get more details on this
Wary of programs that look too good to be true
My daughter just went to Washington DC for an
international politics session and absolutely loved it.
This was despite the fact that she got bronchitis and
was very sick toward the end. It was definitely
expensive and the mixture of students there reflected
that , including some that were very vocally
conservative. These were very strange creatures for a
Berkeley High student to meet, but it made the debates
lively. Overall, I think the camp was worth it because my
daughter was so committed and put a lot of time into
preparation beforehand, also it was well-run and fun.
this page was last updated: Apr 14, 2012
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