Ryan Russell learned that hard work and good character can be rewarded.
The rising Elkin Middle School traveled to Washington, D.C. for the National Junior Young Leaders Conference to learn how students can make a difference in their community through leadership.
“My math teacher Holly Simmons nominated me based on academics, and that I keep steady good grades,” Russell said. “It was fun going and representing the students of Elkin City Schools. Right off the bat I made a friend from New Jersey and also met other kids from Arizona, California and all over the U.S.”
From June 24 to June 29, Russell and students from all over the United States toured the Lincoln Memorial, Capitol Hill, the Martin Luther King Memorial and saw the White House, while also doing different leadership activities every day.
“One class we did was about anti-bullying,” he said. “We did a presentation and even wrote a jingle for it.”
Students stayed at the National 4H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Md. and had a slumber party their last night in the Maryland Science Center.
Russell’s mother Tiffany was proud her son had the opportunity to represent his school.
“I was very proud when I found out he had been nominated,” Tiffany Russell said. “He’s always been a good boy, so it’s nice he got recognized. It shows that it does pay to work hard.”
Russell is hoping to take what he learned from the conference and use it towards helping his classmates this school year.
“I’m lucky that I was able to go to Washington, D.C. this summer,” he said. “I was taught how I can use leadership to better my community. Now I feel like I can stand up and do something to help out if there is a problem.”
Reach Jessica Pickens at 835-1513 ext. 18 or firstname.lastname@example.org.