Pelham Bay student attends Junior National Young Leaders Conference

Joaquin Gonzalez, an eighth grader at PS 71 attended the Junior National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C., this summer.
Photo courtesy of Joaquin Gonzalez

This summer, Joaquin Gonzalez from Pelham Bay, will join middle school students from across the nation to take part in the Junior National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C.

The  Junior National Young Leaders Conference is one of the Envision by WorldStrides family of programs that enable students to explore their interests and experience learning beyond the classroom.

“Attending the Junior National Young Leaders Conference program will allow me to further my interests in politics and history and reach my career goals of becoming a teacher/private tutor, astronomer or, perhaps — way into the mist of the future — even becoming U.S. president,” said Gonzalez, who will be attending Rye Country Day School in Westchester County in the fall. “Ultimately, the Junior National Young Leaders Conference will be a powerful experience, enabling me to interact with respected professionals in various fields while building relationships with students who will be my future colleagues.”

Gonzalez, who attended PS 71, 3040 Roberts Ave., in Pelham Bay, was nominated by his eighth grade social studies teacher, Nickolas Baez, who recognized his academic excellence and strong leadership potential. Throughout middle school, he maintained a cumulative average of about 99% every semester and was involved in the National Junior Honor and Junior Rho Kappa Honor societies — both of which he was the president of. 

Additionally, he is on a soccer travel team, and was recently awarded first place in his school’s science fair, third place in the statewide New York National History Day competition, an academic program that empowers the voices and historical minds of the youth, and considered to be showcased statewide for the Mikva Challenge Competition in New York, a program that strives to develop empowered and active citizens in the youth. 

Amanda Freitag Thomas, senior vice president for Envision, feels Gonzalez will benefit from attending the conference. 

 “As an alumna of Envision myself, I am excited for Joaquin Gonzalez to meet, work and collaborate with other high-aspiring students from across the country,” Thomas said. “Hands down, my favorite part of attending an Envision program was being with motivated students in an environment designed to help us challenge our assumptions, meet new people and grow. Creating that same learning environment is a central focus for all of our programs. At Junior National Young Leaders Conference, students build the confidence and skills needed to excel in high school, college and the workplace. They learn how to adapt to and communicate in new situations, to new challenges, and with new people, which, given how rapidly the world is changing due to technology and innovation, are essential skills for success.”

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