Quinn Steven, a lifelong resident of Union City, is following in the footsteps of leaders from the past. The ambitious 12-year-old girl, who attends the private Hudson School in Hoboken, will travel to Washington D.C. on July 25 for a six-day Junior National Young Leaders Conference called “Voices of Leadership: Reflecting on the Past to create the Future.”
Steven, along with over 250 other middle school students from across the country, was nominated by her teachers to take part in the summer event. Students are first nominated by teachers; then, the students complete an application.
“I’d like for her to identify what it takes to be a good leader and what the common denominator is for why some people have made changes in society,” said Joanne Agresti, Steven’s mom, “and what those attributes are that make them stand out.”
The leadership experience
If you’re wondering how a young high-achiever is taught to be a future leader, experiential learning is the method used by the Congressional Youth Leadership Council. The CYLC is a nonpartisan educational organization behind these types of events and conferences for students.
Started 25 years ago by a teacher with a doctorate degree from Purdue University, the program takes students to meet elected officials, key congressional staff members on Capitol Hill, and to various sites.
“I’m looking forward to being addressed by keynote speakers and learning what makes a good leader through other kids’ perspectives,” said Steven, who at her young age has won second and third place awards in three science fairs. She has also participated in the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Femmes Engineering for Girls summer program for two years and cultivates a passion for fashion and sewing through her involvement in lessons at Avery Design in Hoboken.
“I want to be the best that I can be and rise to my potential.” – Quinn Steven
“What she did was historic because she’s still spoken about till this day,” said Steven.
As if that weren’t enough, Steven also makes time in her schedule to include piano and voice lessons. She has participated in the Debaun Theatre children’s program in Hoboken and taken part in performances at the Hudson School.
“Last school year, I received an award for the National Latin Exam and an award in achievement in science,” said Steven, who also received a gold medal for the Greek mythology examination in the past.
“I want to be the best that I can be and rise to my potential,” said Steven. “I do well in things that interest me.”
The CYLC has scholarships available to those students who can not afford the $1,890 tuition fee. For more information, go to www.cylc.org.
Melissa Rappaport may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org