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Press Release

National Youth Leadership Forum Alumni Headed to the Naval Academy & West Point This Fall

Three outstanding students who previously attended National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF): National Security, an Envision program, have gained acceptance to two United States military universities. Students were inspired to apply after attending NYLF.

May 12, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Three outstanding high school students who attended National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF): National Security – Diplomacy, Intelligence & Defense, an Envision program, have been accepted to two of the nation’s top military universities.

Parker Nelson of Missouri will attend the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD this fall. He directly credits his experience at NYLF National Security with guiding his decision to apply. “The knowledge I gained from the government and military officals provided a driving force for the goals I have accomplished and still want to accomplish. One of these goals—going to the United States Naval Academy—was sparked after speaking to one specific navy captain. He described the opportunities and privileges presented by the Academy as well as the Naval Service. This conversation greatly impacted my choice to pursue my military career pathway.”

Dana Cody of Texas and Preston Wiley of Arizona will attend the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. Dana had always had a goal of dedicating her life to public service, and says her experience at NYLF National Security gave her direction. “Every day, we were exposed to many opportunities to meet extraordinary individuals who were well versed in their fields and wonderfully willing to indulge every question we asked. It was because of the Envison progam that I decided to apply to the United States Military Academy at West Point, and I will be going there in the fall, double majoring in Political Science and International Affairs.”

Preston earned a nomination from Arizona Senator John McCain to attend West Point, fulfilling a lifelong dream. “I want to serve my country as a leader who firmly believes in ‘from-the-front leadership’ in the military before retiring and joining the political arena in Congress.”

NYLF National Security, held each spring in Washington, D.C., introduced Parker, Dana, and Prestion to firsthand experiences and challenging career options in national security and related fields. Throughout the program, students developed the critical thinking, leadership abilities and public speaking skills needed to tackle the complexity of national decision-making in the face of a challenge, crisis or conflict.

The students also had the opportunity to meet with highly respected policy makers, military leaders and other experts in the field. Leading institutions—the CIA, the Pentagon, the U.S. Naval Academy and a variety of embassies, for example—opened their doors to students, giving them a behind-the-scenes view of national security in action. An exclusive career fair provided students with insight into national security career options and connected them with representatives from federal agencies and service academies.

NYLF National Security is part of the Envision family of college and career programs which enable students of all ages to explore their interests and gain learning experiences beyond the classroom. Since 1985, Envision programs have served more than 500,000 students in more than 145 countries, with programs designed to help students develop the leadership, scholarship and career skills needed to succeed in today’s competitive college and career landscape.

For information about the National Youth Leadership Forum: National Security – Diplomacy, Intelligence & Defense, visit