Local student selected to attend National Student Leadership Conference


HARVARD — Charles Watkins of Harvard has been selected to participate in the National Student Leadership Conference, a leadership development program for outstanding high school students. While attending the conference, Watkins will have the opportunity to identify, develop and experience those skills and traits that define a leader.

This year, approximately 8,000 gifted high school students from across the United States and from 45 countries around the world will find themselves immersed in a learning environment unlike any they have ever experienced. These young leaders return to their schools with increased potential and newly developed abilities that enable them to make a positive difference in their communities.

During the conference, students attend special workshops and classes where they study distinctions of leadership. Guest speakers add a sense of reality and bring current national and international issues to life.

In previous years, guest speakers have included U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona; U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige; former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; former Attorney General Janet Reno; President of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn; Supreme Court Justices Anthony Kennedy, Sandra Day O’Connor, and David Souter; world-renowned surgeons and medical researchers; ambassadors; and Pentagon and White House officials.

Through participation in this program, students develop their abilities to think on their feet, to engage in critical analysis, and to communicate effectively — skills that will serve them well as leaders in high school, college and throughout their lives. The conference’s mission is to identify and recognize outstanding young leaders from around the world, and to provide them with a unique learning environment that encourages not only academic achievement, but also diversity, cooperation and social responsibility.

“Students develop a sense of independence and responsibility,” said Dr. Paul M. Lisnek, the NSLC director of academics and former assistant dean of Loyola University’s Chicago School of Law. “They leave with a true feeling of accomplishment and confidence in their ability to handle the challenges that lie ahead.”

The NSLC offers conferences on Mastering Leadership, Law & Advocacy, Medicine & Health Care, Entrepreneurship & Business, International Diplomacy, U.S. Policy & Politics, Intelligence & National Security, Engineering, and Inside the Arts.