Student Invited to National Youth Leadership Forum

Student Invited to National Youth Leadership Forum

This Summer, Oak Forest High School Senior Mario Walker decided to take advantage of a prestigious opportunity by attending the National Youth Leadership Forum for Diplomacy, Intelligence, and Defense in Washington, D.C. He had the opportunity to experience six days of stimulating, hands-on experiences while learning about national security careers, communication, decision making skills, and conflict resolution.

Walker was nominated for the experience by Oak Forest High School's College and Career Coordinator Fred Tapley. Walker was also selected for a scholarship from George Mason University which allowed him to attend the program.

210 high school students gathered in Washington, D.C. with Walker and toured government buildings and historic monuments including the Lincoln Memorial, Capitol Building, Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery, and the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building.

Walker and his peers also participated in a mock election and participated in a cyber-security panel, national security crisis simulation, public policy meetings, and modules.

"The best thing about this experience was the opportunity to garner life-long relationships and connect with my peers from all over the world," Walker says. "I gained some pretty cool mentors as well."

Some of the interesting people that Walker met while at this Leadership Forum was a Senator, FBI Agents, Cyber Security Specialists, and Secret Service agents. This was exciting to Walker because it gave him a taste of his future career.

"I want to go to college for political science, then a law degree, and then work for the FBI. I want to work in politics," He explains. "I learned a lot I didn't know before. I feel like I have a step up over an average person. Overall, it was a great experience."

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