2005-07-15 / Community

Local Rockaway Youth Off To Lead

By Alyssa Goldstein

It’s one of the most prestigious opportunities for a young person to be involved with, a chance for students to meet and greet the leader of the United States. More importantly, it is a chance for young people to have “the experience of a lifetime.”

And, local youth Bryiana Harper, 12, is one of those people who will soon have that experience.

The Junior National Young Leadership Conference (JrNYLC) is sponsored by the Congressional Youth Leadership Council and is a 10-day conference in Washington D.C. inviting sixth and seventh grade students who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement as well as leadership potential to discover about leadership by learning about leaders of the past and how to make a positive impact on society.

Students will understand what it takes to be an effective leader.

The program, developed by Donna Snyder in 1985, offers site experiences, hands-on exercises and workshops as students work together to develop ways to help better their communities.

Harper, a 12-year old Far Rockaway resident, is among 250 other middle school students from all over the country who will be taking part in this conference.

Harper attends Brian Piccolo M.S. 53 in Far Rockaway and was nominated by her teacher Latoyna Ingrham.

Harper made honor roll four times this year and in the fourth marking period had the highest average of the entire sixth grade-a 96.

The JrNYLC allows students who need financial help to write an essay on their role model, Harper, chose her mother Linda Harper. Although Harper’s essay was not chosen she is still going.

Three other students from M.S. 53 were chosen but could not go due to finances, leaving Bryiana to be the only one representing her school.

Harper, along with the other 250 students, will be in Washington D.C. from July 16 to the 25 and while there she will be going on tours, going to museums, meeting current President Bush, and learning about the country’s former presidents.

Harper says that she does have an interest in politics and for a week was voted class president of her history class.

Before she departs on her trip she will be expected to write one more essay.

“I am very excited,” she says of her impending trip, “I work and try very hard,” which everyone knows, is the best recipe for success.

Information about the JrNYLC can be found at www.jrnylc.org.

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