The National Leadership Academies

Welcome to the online press kit for The National Leadership Academies

Helping America’s high-achieving students fulfill their dreams

High-achieving high school students often do not get the support they should in school. Education reforms such as No Child Left Behind “created strong incentives for schools to focus all their energy on helping low-performing students get over a modest ‘proficiency’ bar,” but “ignored the educational needs of high achievers,” according to the report High Stakes for High Achievers.

The National Leadership Academies is working to change that by inspiring and equipping top students for the future. Through its Congress of Future Medical Leaders and Congress of Future Science & Technology Leaders, annual gatherings that expose students to top leaders in their fields, young people from across America are getting the skills, motivation, guidance and mentorship they need to achieve their goals.

“There is a misconception that the high achieving child – someone who is doing great in school and also has a great vision and passion toward their future – is someone who has all the advantages,” says Richard Rossi, founder and Executive Director of The National Leadership Academies. “In fact that is not true. The truth is that in many, many cases, the well behaved high-achieving child gets the short end of the stick.”

Top students often live in a world where they feel bored and unchallenged amid peers who don’t understand their passion. That all changes when they get the opportunity to gather in community with hundreds of other passionate, motivated peers and hear and meet top leaders in their fields.

The Congress of Future Medical Leaders and the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders bring high-achieving high school students together with luminaries of their areas of study, as well as leaders from government and the public sector. These Congress mentors include Nobel Laureates, top university deans, leaders in medical and STEM research and cutting edge technology, as well as leaders from private industry and from across all fields.

Congress Delegates are nominated by their teachers, or the Academy, based on proven academic excellence and demonstrated desire to study medicine, the sciences or leadership. Students must have a minimum 3.5 GPA (or equivalent) to be attend. Each Congress reserves places for students on full academic scholarship who are selected by their teacher or guidance counselor for their leadership ability, academic achievement and dedication. The Academies also offer partial scholarships for students based on financial need.

Students who attend the Congresses feel the transformative energy of being surrounded by thousands of young stars just like them: America’s best and brightest. The events allow them to forge long-term friendships with those who share their dreams and passion – other young people who want to make a difference in the world and devote their future to making the world a better place. After each Congress, students continue to receive mentorship and help through the Academies.

To gauge the effectiveness of its programs, in 2016 the Academies commissioned surveys of students who attended its Congresses. Among students who attended the Congresses in 2016, 86% felt the experience gave them new tools and resources to achieve their goals, and felt more confident to fulfill their goals as a result.

Richard Rossi has more than 30 years experience working with high-achieving students. He sees these young people as “an enormous force for change in the world.”

Connecting the future young leaders with extraordinary peers, mentors and speakers in their fields, and providing the continuing support they need to fulfill their dreams is the mission of The National Leadership Academies.

“We don’t normally talk about the high achieving children as a unit as a force for change in the world but they are really magnificent kids,” Richard Rossi says. “They are a global force that can change the world before they even have a high school degree, if they are given the proper motivation and support.”

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