Staff Report

Cameron Cooper, a 13 year-old student at Burns Middle School in Brandon, along with over 250 outstanding middle school students from across the United States, recently took part in an extraordinary leadership conference in Washington, D.C. Themed Voices of Leadership: Reflecting on the Past to Create the Future.  The Junior National Young Leaders Conference (JrNYLC) introduces young people to the rich tradition of leadership throughout American history, while helping them to develop their own leadership skills.

“The aim of the Junior National Young Leaders Conference is to inspire students to recognize their own leadership skills, measure their skills against those of current and former leaders and return home with new confidence in their ability to exercise positive influence within their communities,” said Marguerite Regan, Ph.D., Dean of Academic Affairs for the Congressional Youth Leadership Council (CYLC), the organization that sponsors JrNYLC. “Young people are not only welcome in Washington, D.C., they actually keep this city and our country running.”

During the six-day program, students took part in educational activities and presentations and explored relevant sites such as Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.’s museums and memorials.

In addition to examining notable U.S. leaders and historic figures, students studied the impact of leadership throughout critical periods of American history including the Civil War and Reconstruction, World War II, the Great Depression and the Civil Rights Movement. Upon completion of JrNYLC, students gain a greater sense of the role of individuals in American democracy, as well as the responsibilities of being a leader.

Cameron is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and is involved in competitive, travel baseball.  He maintains very high grade standards in his advanced honors classes and maintains a disciplined schedule in order to be involved in many extra-curricular activities. Cameron attended Immanuel Lutheran School in Brandon from Kindergarten through sixth grade and transferred to Burns Middle School in the seventh grade. He is looking forward to attending his last year of middle school this fall at Burns Middle School before he transitions to high school where he plans to attend Bloomingdale High School in Valrico. For additional information, visit


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