At the intersection of leadership development, experiential learning, and civic engagement lies the National Student Leadership Academy (NSLA), hosted by Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) in Washington D.C. on November 30 - December 2. NSLA is an unique opportunity for young leaders across the country to grow, connect, and make a real impact. Each year, NSLA brings together JAG specialists, youth, and state leaders for a capstone leadership experience that transcends the classroom. This year, seven exceptional Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) leaders were chosen to attend, representing the future of youth leadership and advocacy:
AbyGale Kowalske, Northwestern Michigan College
Carson Haskin, Northwest Education Services Career Technical Center
Gabriella Paryani, Northwestern Michigan College
Harmony Bennett, Hartford High School
Nevaeh Stone, Benton Harbor High School
Nolan Henson, Southwestern Classical Academy
Riley Brown, Northwest Education Services Career Technical Center
Nevaeh Stone, a senior at Benton Harbor High School, is one of the students attending NSLA. She passionately believes in the importance of youth involvement in shaping the future. When asked why it’s important to get involved, Neveah stated, “Youth possess the power to contribute to the betterment of their communities. By getting involved, they not only learn valuable life skills but create an understanding of human rights and citizenship.” Nevaeh is excited to attend NSLA where she hopes to expand her leadership skills, practice public speaking and build valuable relationships.
Beyond the unique leadership development opportunities, NSLA offers students the chance to explore our nation’s Capital, where they engage with leaders and learn about the inner workings of our democracy. On JAG National Career Association (NCA) Day on the Hill, they have an opportunity to make their voices heard by visiting their local representatives so that vital community, educational, and workforce issues important to JAG students can be discussed in person.
Nolan Henson, a Southwestern Classical Academy Alumnus and Youth Advisory Council (YAC) Chairperson, is eagerly looking forward to attending NSLA as well. He believes it’s essential for youth to advocate for their communities, and he’s determined to bring back new ideas and innovative ideas to the YAC. Nolan’s goal is to help youth feel comfortable advocating for JMG in their local communities.
“I look forward to using what I learn at NSLA to deliver leadership workshops within our state, equipping JMG youth with the tools to advocate for the program in their everyday lives.”
NSLA provides a platform for nurturing the leaders of tomorrow, equipping them with the skills and experiences they need to make a difference in their communities. Nevaeh and Nolan’s shared dedication to advocating for positive change is a testament to the impact of the program. As they attend NSLA and bring back their newfound knowledge, they exemplify the bright future of our leadership.