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Program Highlights

Voices of Change Project

Junior National Young Leaders Conference student participating in the Voices of Change ProjectWorking as a group, students will choose a topic that they believe presents a problem in today’s society and develop an organization to combat the problem. Students will conduct research to fully understand the problem they’re facing and create an organization that positively promotes social change. They will collaborate as a group, using each team member’s strengths, to educate others and take action to combat the problem. At the end of the project, students will present their work to other groups and will hopefully continue their project upon returning home.

For example, JrNYLC alumni Brandon Greene transformed his Voices of Change project into a real organization, A Better Community, to combat bullying. He was honored for his work and invited to the White House to meet President Obama.

Harpers Ferry, WV

Students engaged in learning the history of Harpers Ferry National Park

Students will experience the rich history of America’s past as they explore leadership in action at Harpers Ferry National Park. They will learn about the first successful application of interchangeable manufacture, the arrival of the first successful American railroad, John Brown's attack on slavery, the largest surrender of Federal troops during the Civil War, and the education of former slaves in one of the earliest integrated schools in the United States. Students will bring history to life by participating in a live-action role play simulation focused on abolitionist John Brown's raid to end slavery at Harpers Ferry—an activity that will challenge them to understand what it means to be a leader in great time of conflict and great possibility.


A Night at the Museum*

Junior National Young Leaders Conference students interacting with the engaging exhibits at Maryland Science CenterJrNYLC ends with an overnight adventure at the Maryland Science Center, where students will spend the night surrounded by blue crabs, Newton’s Alley, and space exhibits. This after-hours opportunity to explore the museum allows students to conduct experiments, walk into a beating heart chamber, test their nerves on the bed of nails, and discover life beyond earth, including the SciLab and the Power Up! Exhibits, where they can conduct experiments and experience everything electric. Students will explore the latest findings in space and aerospace science, and discover life beyond earth as they learn about how scientists detect distant “exoplanets.” The night concludes with a riveting IMAX movie that takes the students on an Antarctic adventure.

*Note: This is included for residential scholars. However, day scholars can add the museum overnight to their experience for a fee when completing their enrollment.

Keynote Speaker: Anthony Robles 

Motivational keynote speaker, All-American NCAA National Champion wrestler Anthony Robles

When Anthony Robles was born without a right leg, doctors had no explanation for the birth defect and there was little hope he would lead a normal life. His mom, however, always told him that God made him that way for a reason and encouraged him to pursue his dream of wrestling.

At 14, Robles tried out for his school’s wrestling team and became the smallest kid on the lineup, finishing his first year in last place at the Mesa City wrestling tournament. But against all odds, Robles believed he could one day be a champion wrestler and proved to be an unstoppable force. With the support of his mother and coaches, he went from being last in the city to finishing his junior and senior years at Mesa High School as a two-time Arizona State Champion and a high school National Champion with a 96-0 record.

Despite finishing high school on top, Robles once again faced prejudice in the sport of wrestling, as no college wrestling programs believed he could excel at the next level. Through bold determination, he "walked on" at Arizona State University and made it his mission to prove to them, and the world, that anything was possible. Robles graduated from Arizona State with a degree in Business Communication and finished his college wrestling career as a three-time All-American and the 2011 NCAA National Champion. He was also awarded the 2011 NCAA “Best Wrestler of the National Tournament Award”.