Invigorating Experience: National Student Leadership conference

Nick Alutto, Staff Writer

Summer vacation is a time when students can finally leave LFA’s stressful course requirements and curriculum for some time off and relaxation. While taking a break from academics is healthy and beneficial, summer break is a time when many students take advantage of summer courses offered all around the country to expand their fields of interest academically; this offers students a chance to expand their education outside of what they can learn about at school.
Gage Daliere, a sophomore at LFA, is one of those students who used the summer  break to attend The National Student Leadership Conference at American University in Washington D.C. The National Student Leadership Conference is an organization that offers high school and middle school aged kids the chance to take a variety of different programs covering many areas of interest. The course he took was on political action and gave him a deep dive, over ten days, about the inner workings of politics in the United States.
“I was just looking to have fun,” Daliere said, when asked why he wanted to go to the summer program. “It’s a political action camp, and I wanted to get involved in something with politics,” a field that he is interested in.
One major aspect of this program was a campaign simulation, where the participants in the camp were separated into different campaigns and had to try to work to get their candidate elected, needing to maneuver all of the challenges of an election process. This was supposed to give the people in the program the opportunity to fully emerge themselves in political action through a realistic and immersive simulation.
“You basically pick a candidate, then you run in a primary against three other candidates…then you have primary elections and then a general election,” described Daliere.
Another aspect that sparked his interest in the program was its location. Since he had never been to Washington D.C. before, he was very excited to go to the camp just so he could go sightseeing at historical landmarks, which is a part of the program that is advertised and highlighted on their website.
“We had three trips to downtown D.C.; one was to the Capitol and one was all the monuments at night which was a lot of fun,” noted Daliere.
When asked if he would recommend this program to other people, Daliere said, “If you ever just wanted to know what it feels like to be on a presidential campaign or be into politics, like being a senator, or you just want a better scope and understanding of how laws are made, then it would be really fun.”