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Michael Purvis, a rising junior at South Johnston High School, has just returned from a trip to Washington , D.C., as a participant in the National Young Leaders Conference (NYLC). The NYLC is a leadership development program for high school students who have demonstrated leadership potential and scholastic merit.  Purvis was one of approximately 400 outstanding scholars from around the country at the conference held June 14-22.


The motto of the conference was "The Leaders of Tomorrow Meeting the Leaders of Today."  Purvis interacted with a variety of personnel who operate within the three branches of government, the news {mosimage}media, and the international community. "NYLC prepares students like Michael Purvis to serve our country well, whether that means as elected officials in our nation's capital, as active members within communities around the world or as intelligent, creative and responsible members of the work force," said Mike Lasday, executive director of the Congressional Youth Leadership Council (CYLC), the organization that sponsors the Conference. "Through a series of simulations, we place these young leaders in the proverbial driver's seat on a variety of issues facing our country today. Their determination, as shown within the Conference, is a good indicator of the types of leaders we will see in the future. What these students learn at the National Young Leaders Conference will enable them to build coalitions with one another and exercise their own leadership skills within communities around the country."

Purvis participated in a number of leadership skill-building activities and simulations.  In one role-play activity titled If I Were President, students act as the president and cabinet members responding to an international crisis.  Students also participate in Testing the Constitution, in which they examine actual Supreme Court cases.  The conference culminates with the Model Congress, where scholars assume the roles of U.S. Representatives, and debate, amend, and vote on proposed mock legislation.

CYLC is a non-profit, non-partisan organization.  Founded in 1985, the Council is committed to fostering and inspiring young people to achieve their full potential.