High School Students Attend NYLF: National Security program
Career Development

National Youth Leadership Forum: National Security – Diplomacy, Intelligence & Defense

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The NYLF National Security Experience

NYLF: Careers in National Security Video

The National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF): National Security – Diplomacy, Intelligence & Defense is a six-day program that prepares high school students for careers in defense, intelligence, and the diplomatic corps.

At NYLF National Security, you will join other students who are interested in the many disciplines that help keep this country – and its citizens – safe. You will also have the opportunity to get an in-depth look at how the United States plans for peace and prepares for crisis.

For over 23 years, NYLF National Security has maintained relationships with agencies and national security professionals such as Major General Stanley Hyman, U.S. Army, (Ret.) who currently serves on the board of advisors.

Activities & Benefits

Is a diplomacy, intelligence or defense career in your future? At NYLF National Security, you will:

By completing this program, you are eligible to receive college credit from George Mason University.



    Alumni of NYLF National Security are one step closer to being tomorrow’s national security leaders. Meet our alumni.


    As part of the NYLF National Security experience, students meet with and learn from leaders who have shaped the future of national security. Learn More



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Find out why college credit is important for you. Learn More


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Network with National Security Professionals
Career Fair
  • Learn about the education and career opportunities available to you.
  • Meet one-on-one with representatives from all branches of the military, federal agencies, military academies, and private companies.
  • Past participants have included the National Security Agency, West Point, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and more. See a full list on our career fair page. See a full list on our career fair page.
National Security Site Visits
Career Site Visits

Top professionals will welcome you at government agencies, foreign embassies, and military facilities. Get an inside look at diplomacy, intelligence and defense operations in action. Past site visits have included:

  • The U.S. Department of State
  • The CIA
  • The Pentagon
  • The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
  • The U.S. Naval Academy
  • Marine Corps Base Quantico
  • United States Institute of Peace

Real-world National Security Simulation
Real-World Simulation
  • Test your judgment in the face of crisis, design an action plan, and lead a team of peers in solving national-level issues.
  • Employ a crisis decision-making process similar to that used by the nation’s top policy makers, using critical thinking, leadership, conflict resolution, and public speaking skills to tackle complex national decisions.
  • Receive briefings from national security professionals, which will give you insight into agency collaboration and information analysis.

2016 Dates & Locations

National Security Careers Program for High School Students - Washington D.C.
2016 Spring: Washington, DC
National 4-H Youth Conference Center
Chevy Chase, MD
  • Mar 1 - Mar 6
  • Mar 8 - Mar 13
  • Mar 15 - Mar 20

Tuition & Financial Assistance


Tuition for NYLF National Security includes housing, instruction and supervision by professional faculty advisors, conference activities and materials, site explorations, onsite meals and transportation during the conference.

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Envision offers a limited number of scholarships to qualified students each year based upon financial need, scholastic merit, leadership achievements and other factors.

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Many students use fundraising and sponsorships to cover some or all of their tuition costs. Envision has prepared a fundraising guide featuring suggestions and activities to help you raise funds.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Program Eligibility & Nomination

Is NYLF National Security for me?

If you are a high school student ready to build a path to success in college and a career in National Security, this program is for you. Many of our scholars are nominated by educators, leaders from youth organizations and participating institutions, but open enrollments are welcome from qualified students who want to make the most of this opportunity.

What happens after I enroll?

After you enroll, you will receive an enrollment confirmation email. A personalized URL will be created for you – your MyEnvisionExperience.com page – where you can find important program updates, the Mandatory Travel Form, the Student Information Form, a travel checklist, pre-conference assignments and a press release you can use to notify local media about your participation in this prestigious program. You will receive notification in the mail and via email with details about how to access your MyEnvisionExperience.com page.

What happens if the program is full? Is there a wait list?

Should the program be full, we will let you know. You will be placed on a wait list and your payment will not be processed. If space becomes available, we will contact you and confirm your interest to attend before proceeding with enrollment.

What is the dress code for this program?

You should plan to wear professional attire during most program events.

When professional attire is called for, ladies must wear suits, dresses, blouses, skirts or pants with a jacket. Skirts must fall at or below the knee. Gentlemen must wear a suit or a blazer, shirt, tie and slacks.

Comfortable dress shoes are essential (heels are not recommended). You will be walking a great deal throughout the program.

There will be opportunities during the conference for you to wear relaxed professional attire or casual attire, including jeans.

Students who belong to organizations or attend military schools with an official professional military uniform may wear their uniforms during the program. Fatigues and casual uniform attire, however, will not be permitted at events requiring professional attire.

What is the code of conduct for this program?

You are expected to abide by the Student Code of Conduct. You also must abide by and uphold all conference rules. We expect you to conduct yourself as a mature and responsible leader who represents your school and community.

Organization & Affiliations

Who is Envision?

Envision Experience Envision is a leading experiential education organization dedicated to enabling students of all ages explore their interests and gain critical learning experiences beyond the classroom. Envision merged with LeadAmerica in 2012 to provide a comprehensive offering of programs to help students develop the leadership, scholarship and career skills needed to succeed in the competitive 21st century. See About Envision for more detailed information about Envision, its history of successful educational programs, its leadership and its partners.

All Envision programs are designed to align with Common Core State Standards and other national standards for education. See what others are saying about their Envision program experiences.

How is Envision funded?

Envision is a tuition-based, self-supporting organization, with many students securing financial support from local business, civic, community and leadership organizations. Scholarship funds are also available for qualified nominees. Learn more about scholarships and fundraising opportunities.

Is Envision affiliated with a political party or the U.S. government?

No. Envision is a nonpartisan educational organization.

Tuition & Financial Assistance

What is included in tuition?

Your tuition for NYLF National Security includes housing, instruction and supervision by professional faculty advisors, program activities and materials, site explorations, onsite meals and private motor coach transportation to all locations during the program.

However, your transportation to and from Washington, DC is NOT included in tuition. While attending the program, you will only need money for offsite meals, souvenirs, snacks and other incidentals.

How do I apply for a scholarship or financial assistance?

You can visit the Envision scholarships page for more information. We are proud to offer a limited number of scholarships to eligible students, opening the door to young leaders from a variety of backgrounds. You should also know that many students fundraise to pay for most or all of their tuition costs. See the fundraising page for more information.

What happens if there are no spaces available by the time I am able to accrue the full tuition amount by fundraising?

If you intend to fundraise to raise program tuition, we encourage you to enroll using our convenient payment plan. That way you will make sure you have safely secured your space in the program. It is always a good idea to contact our Office of Admissions once you begin your fundraising campaign

How will I be notified about my scholarship application?

You can expect to be notified by email. This usually happens about two weeks after the scholarship deadline date has passed. If you do not provide an operable email address, you will receive notification by mail approximately three weeks after the scholarship deadline date has passed. The scholarship deadline date can be found on the scholarships page.

Safety & Supervision

How will I be supervised?

Your safety and well-being during the program is our highest priority. The program is structured so that you will reside in a safe, controlled environment. You will be closely supervised by professionally trained staff, including faculty advisors who serve as educational facilitators and chaperones, security personnel, operations personnel and a program coordinator.

For nearly 30 years, Envision has achieved a stellar record of safely and successfully enriching the lives of students, providing them with superb educational experiences and professional supervision. Other Envision safety measures include:

  • Greeting students at the designated airport upon their arrival and providing shuttle service directly to the program site, as well as providing shuttle service back to the airport on departure day.
  • Maintaining a student-to-staff ratio of 17-to-1.
  • Providing single-sex rooms and single-sex floors.
  • Requiring all students to attend all activities.
  • Checking rooms nightly and ensuring that students remain in their rooms.
  • Having night monitors in place to support students who may become ill or who have an emergency during the night.
  • Equipping all staff members with two-way communication devices.

Travel & Accommodations

Where will I stay?

For the Fall 2015 NYLF National Security program, you will stay at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center, located minutes outside downtown Washington, DC.

How many students share a room?

Each room will house two to four students. You will have your own bed, which may include a roll-away bed.

Can I request a roommate?

Roommate requests are not accepted. You will be randomly assigned a room prior to your arrival day. We believe that one of the important benefits of this program is the opportunity for you to network with others and get to know peers from different parts of the country.

Can my parents attend the program?

No. Your parents or guardians are not allowed to accompany you during the program. Gaining independence, including experiencing new things on your own, is an essential part of your growth during the program. However, it is perfectly fine for your family to travel with you to the program location and stay in the area while you are attending the program.

Can I attend if I am a student with special needs?

Yes. If you are a student with special needs or with disabilities, we encourage you to enroll. We may be able to provide you with auxiliary aids and services to assist you. Please call our Office of Admissions for more information or to discuss your particular needs prior to enrolling in the program.

Do I need to make my own flight arrangements?

Yes. Your tuition does not include transportation to and from Washington, DC. We recommend that you make necessary flight arrangements only AFTER you receive confirmation that the session dates you have selected are available and you are officially enrolled.

Who will meet me at the airport?

NYLF National Security staff will meet students at the designated airports. For Fall 2015 sessions, the designated airport is Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI). Staff will assist you with your arrival and departure. We will also ensure there is shuttle service for you to get you from the airports to the program location on the first and last days of your program. The shuttle service fee is $35 each way or $70 round-trip.

Note: More details about designated airports, arrival windows and the airport shuttle service will be provided to you in your online acceptance materials after you enroll in the program.

What is the Tuition and Travel Protection Plan?

To protect and safeguard the investment that you and your parents make in travel and tuition costs, we strongly recommend that your parents take advantage of our Tuition and Travel Protection Plan. This plan is offered through Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. You may purchase this cancellation insurance when you enroll. You may also select this option when you complete the Mandatory Travel Form on your personalized MyEnvisionExperience.com page after enrollment. If your parents would like more specifics about the Tuition and Travel Protection Plan, please have them call the plan administrator, Nationwide, at (866) 282-3987.

Academic Preparation

What is the pre-conference assignment, FUEL?

The first step of your leadership journey includes assessing your strengths and opportunities for growth. To aid in this assessment, you must complete a brief pre-program assignment entitled Feedback for Understanding Emerging Leaders (FUEL).

The FUEL assignment will be available on your personal MyEnvisionExperience.com web page after you enroll. It simply requires that you choose five mentors – teachers, coaches, youth group leaders or other trusted adults – to complete a short survey about your leadership strengths. You also will complete a short self-assessment as part of the FUEL assignment.

When is the deadline to submit my FUEL form? Is the assignment mandatory?

Please make sure you complete the assignment no later than one week prior to arrival. You will be able to see the results on the first day of the program. 
The FUEL assignment will be available on your child’s MyEnvisionExperience.com personal Web page after you enroll.

Other Questions

Can special dietary needs be met?

Vegetarian options are always available. Kosher and Halal meals can be made available to you, provided the request is submitted prior to the start of the conference. When you complete the Student Information Form, you will have the opportunity to make special dietary requests.

What if I lose something or forget to bring a personal item home after the program?

All lost and found items are retained by the program staff for two weeks following the conference. Items of higher monetary value are retained for 30 days. After 30 days, all items remaining are discarded or donated. Contact the Office of Admissions for assistance.

My question is not listed.

If you have additional questions, please contact the Office of Admissions.