Published on July 12th, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff0
District Five middle school student attends national leadership conference
Pictured Jada Washington
IRMO – A Lexington-Richland District Five middle school student was among top pupil attending a national leadership development conference in Washington, D.C. this summer.
Jada Washington was selected for this year’s Junior National Young Leaders Conference (JrNYLC), a six-day privately-funded conference for sixth through eighth grade students led by education organization Envision. The event includes workshops and tours of significant sites, including museums, monuments and memorials. More than 200 students nationwide will attend JrNYLC sessions in June and July.
“I’m usually shy, but they taught us a lot about having confidence and about the different skills leaders need to know,” said Washington, who will attend Irmo Middle School next school year. “We also toured the monuments. Abraham Lincoln was my favorite because he’s my favorite president…we learned a lot, and it was a lot of fun too.”
CrossRoads Middle School teacher Debbi Batson said she nominated Washington to help further develop the strong leadership qualities already seen in the rising seventh grader. “Jada is a dynamic student. She is enthusiastic and what I like to call a persevering learner. Whatever the challenge or whatever the assignment, she sticks with it until she figures it out…she’s a great leader, a great person and just someone with exceptional people skills to be just 12 years old.”
Washington is active in school activities and has been selected for prestigious academic and leadership summer programs before, including a Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP) summer event last year. Her father Gregory Washington said his daughter has always been a leader among her peers.
“Jada has always stood out in and outside the classroom. She doesn’t stop at just the norm of learning. She has always wanted to go further with it,” he said. “And she’s always had her own strange way of doing things because she is unique. To me, that’s the qualities of a good leader. So, we’re very proud of her and think the best is yet to come for her.”
As part of this year’s JrNYLC, students studied leadership challenges through the perspective of critical periods in American history, including World War II, the Great Depression and the civil rights movement. Organizers say the exercises are aimed at helping budding leaders like Washington develop their own leadership skills and strategies.
“The Junior National Young Leaders Conference enables students to recognize their own leadership abilities in the context of great men and women from the past and present,” said Marguerite Regan, Ph.D., the Dean of Academic Affairs for JrNYLC. “They return home with new confidence in their ability to make a positive impact in their school and communities. Washington, D.C. serves as the perfect backdrop for this inspiring program to generate a new generation of U.S. leaders.”