2004-02-13 / Community

Local Student to Walk Halls of Leadership

By Timothy Kuffner
Local Student to Walk Halls of Leadership By Timothy Kuffner

Nicole Vancheri, a middle school student from Belle Harbor, will join 200 other students her age from throughout the United States to participate in the Junior National Young Leaders Conference (JrNYLC) from February 14 to February 19 in Washington D.C.

Themed The Legacy of American Leadership, the Conference introduces young people to the rich tradition of leadership throughout American history, while helping them develop their own leadership skills. Vancheri will par ticipate in educational activities and presentations led by individuals in high-level positions as well as young people who exercise leadership skills within their communities. Students will also visit historic national landmarks such as Colonial Williamsburg, from which our country took shape.

The conference hopes to stress the importance of young people in today’s society and the future of this country, while instilling in those young people the motivation to direct their talents and faculties towards leadership in their own communities. "By participating in the Junior National Young Leaders Conference, students like Nicole Vancheri will learn early that young people are not only welcome in Washington D.C., but they actually keep this city and our country running," re mark ed Michael Lasday, ex ecutive director of the Congressional Youth Leadership Council, the organization that sponsors the Conference. "One of the goals of JrNYLC is to en courage students to build their own leadership skills through active in volvement within their communities."

In addition to examining notable U.S. leaders and historic figures, Vancheri will 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 take home a greater sense of understanding of the roll of individuals in American democracy as well as the responsibilities of being a leader.

CYCL is a nonprofit, non-partisan 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 Con gressional Board of Ad visors. In addition more than 40 embassies participate in the Council’s Honorary Board of Embassies.

Nicole Vancheri is 12 years old and lives in Belle Harbor. She attends the Christa McAuliffe Intermediate School 187 in Dyker Heights Brooklyn. An ambitious student, Vancheri was nominated by her teacher to attend the con ference because of her outstanding participation in her school’s extracurricular activities. Vancheri uses much of her free time to lend her services to the Kiwanis Club, which helps to provide support and charity for people in need.

"I’m really excited," Vancheri said when asked how she felt about being selected, "My parents keep telling me this is the opportunity of a lifetime and I completely agree with them. I can’t wait to go."

Hopefully, the JrNYLC will help mold Vancheri into a responsible young woman willing and able to help lead her community in a better direction. As of now however, Nicole seems content on just being a kid, although she definitely has plans about her future. "When I grow up," she says, "I want to be a lawyer."

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