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This summer, Brandon D. joined other elementary school students from across the nation to take part in a unique academic and career-oriented development experience, Junior National Young Leadership Program in Washington D.C.
JrNYLP is one of the Envision family of programs (www.envisionexperience.com) that enable students to explore their interests and experience learning beyond the classroom.
Brandon was nominated to attend the forum by his fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Jennifer Wyatt, at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Brandon has been ranked among the top in his class excelling in both academic programs and extracurricular activities.  One of Brandon’s teacher’s states, “Brandon sets a shining example for all of our other students.  He is always working hard, trying to go above and beyond the expectations set and is kind and friendly to everyone else.  I know Brandon is going to do great things with his life!”  Along with achieving success in school he plays on a CYC soccer team for Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary School in O’Fallon, a select soccer team and a community-based baseball team.  His coach says, “Brandon is an exceptional young man who excels in school and on the sports field.  His work ethic, determination to succeed, outgoing personality and infectious smile will make him a valuable part of this program.”
Since 1985, Envision programs have served more than 800,000 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.
Since returning from the forum, Brandon mentions he experienced many challenging opportunities that will last a lifetime. One of his favorite opportunities was working with other scholars participating in the My Day in Office simulation, during which each scholar had the chance to role-play as an important government official while they work through a real-world challenge. He toured many exhibits and museums in Washington D.C. 
The excitement did not stop there!  He explored U.S. History during a visit to the National Museum of American History where he had a chance to see the Star-Spangled Banner exhibit.  He and other scholars toured Harpers Ferry Historical Park in West Virginia.  Brandon engaged in a variety of hands-on simulations that mimic life in the United States during the years leading up to the Civil War.  He scrubbed laundry on a wash board, participated in military drills, worked as a war correspondent, and experienced what life was like on the home front.  There was hard work involved with all the engaging tours. 

Scholars worked on a Voices of Change project where they were to pick a topic of interest and then were grouped with peers who share that same interest.  Together, throughout the program, they reacted an organization to serve as a “voice of change” to positively impact members of their local communities.  This final project focused on his leadership skills that will enhance his future for the rest of his life. 
He was thrilled to be a part of the forum and looks forward to participating again as an alumnus. Brandon stated,  “I met new friends, participated in fun activities that taught me about our history and culture and explored historical parts and sites of Washington D.C.  From participating in the weeklong forum, I know I will be a successful leader and work well with future colleagues in whatever job I have as I get older."

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