News & Story Ideas
Public schools put a lot of emphasis on helping average and struggling students but don’t provide enough support for high achievers, recent research indicates. The National Leadership Academies holds annual congresses for future medical, scientific and technology leaders with a 3.5 or better grade point average. Richard Rossi discusses why the idea that top students “will do fine” on their own needs to change.
The Academies commissioned new research that found almost half of top students preparing for medical and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers feel under tremendous stress to perform. Richard shares ways parents can help their kids better deal with stress.
Surveys and research commissioned by the Academies found that students who attended the annual congresses reported new goals, new resources, more confidence and being able to make better decisions and even embrace failure. Richard discusses the survey results for students and their parents.
The National Leadership Academies offers scholarships to its yearly congresses, yet not all bright students can attend. So the organization offers many free programs and services that are not based on GPA, including information, mentoring and online communities where leading students can get support to help them achieve their dreams.
In more than 30 years working with high-achieving students, Richard Rossi has become an expert on what they need to thrive. He explains why he has come to see them as “an enormous force for moving the world forward.”
The Congress of Future Medical Leaders and Congress of Future Science & Technology Leaders bring smart and motivated young people together with top leaders in their fields. Speakers include inventors, entrepreneurs, Nobel Laureates and innovators doing groundbreaking scientific, medical and technological research – people such as Craig Venter, Ph.D., who decoded the human genome. Richard tells how these leaders inspire and motivate top high school students.
Students who attend the congresses often are seen as the smartest kids in their schools. Their peers may not understand why they are taking classes at a community college or hanging out at a robotics lab on a weekend. When they come together with other brilliant young people, they can talk about their passions all day with others who understand. Lisa and Richard explain how the experience changes young people – and how they often form lifetime friendships in a few days.
Parents of participants often view their kids as the smartest in their school or town. When they get there they realize “there is a whole room full of kids just like mine,” Richard says. While kids come away less stressed, parents often feel the opposite. Richard explains.
Several top students who have attended the congresses made major advances in technology and medicine while they were still in high school. Using the Internet to research, these kids are already saving lives and changing the world. Richard shares their stories.
Almost half of high-achieving students planning STEM careers aren’t sure how to choose the right college, surveys of participants show. The solution? Broaden their outlook. “We help them to see a much bigger future for themselves, and when they do it helps them become stronger candidates for top college admissions,” Richard says. “We help them to help themselves.”
Leading companies in medicine, science and technology are competing for top talent. Some of them look to the congresses as opportunities to network with prospective recruits even before kids are in college. “When you think about medical research, science and technology companies, the real fight today is a fight for talent,” Richard says. “It is the number one thing every company believes is going to make the difference. Now they can recruit these folks at a younger age.”
It used to be Americans could find long-term, secure employment even without a college degree. Now many college graduates struggle to find meaningful work and face the prospect of a lower standard of living than previous generations. Richard Rossi explains how programs such as The National Leadership Academies are working to change that.
In 2009, Richard Rossi co-created one of the largest gatherings of high-achieving youth in Washington, D.C. history: 15,300 young men and women who came together to experience the historic nature of President Obama’s first inauguration along with luminaries such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He tells what he has learned from working with the best and brightest students over more than 30 years.