Back to school youth leadership opportunities

Monday, August 30, 2010

As we enter into the fall, students across Nebraska are returning to classes, catching up with friends, and meeting new classmates. A new school year is always exciting, and I've been honored to meet with students of all ages and share their excitement. After every meeting, I've come away impressed with the quality of Nebraska's youth, and I am committed to helping them make the most of opportunities to expand their horizons.

In order to receive feedback from Nebraska high school students, I formed my Youth Advisory Council. This group provides a forum to discuss the concerns of young Nebraskans and how they can help their local communities, while also offering the opportunity for me to hear their thoughts on issues facing the federal government.

Membership is open to high school students who are nominated by their teachers, principals, or guidance counselors. For more information about the Youth Advisory Council, interested students and educators should contact their guidance counselor, my Grand Island office at 308-384-3900, or visit my website at http://adriansmith.house.gov.

High school students may also consider serving our nation as a Congressional Page in Washington D.C. While continuing their high school education, pages work on Capitol Hill assisting Members of Congress and congressional staff and experience up close how Congress works.

Applicants must be 16 years of age at the time of their appointment and have a "B" average or better. In addition to the application form and transcript, students will need to submit an essay, three letters of recommendation (one from a current teacher), and extracurricular activities. For more information, contact my Washington D.C. office at 202-225-6435.

For some high school students, their commitment to our country will lead them to consider attending one of the U.S. Service Academies (Military, Naval, Coast Guard, and Air Force). I am honored to nominate qualified individuals committed to serving our nation. Applicants meet personally with my Academy Advisory Committee and are judged on academic achievement, extracurricular involvement, career motivation, personal traits, letters of recommendation, essays, and personal interviews.

Serving in any one of the military service academies is both an honor and a tremendous commitment. For more information about eligibility requirements, students should contact my Scottsbluff office at 308-633-6333 or their guidance counselor.

For college-aged Nebraskans, I am proud to offer the opportunity to experience the legislative process from an insider's point of view through an internship in my Washington D.C. office or one of my district offices. These internships provide invaluable work experience for students interested in public policy.

Interns have the opportunity to meet with me directly, as well as assist my staff in various capacities -- from office duties to research to attending meetings with policymakers and constituents.

For more information on internships, students can visit my website at http://adriansmith.house.gov under "Constituent Services" or call any one of my offices.

These are just a few opportunities for motivated students to advance their education and assist their communities. I also encourage students to check with their guidance counselors, local chambers of commerce, economic development councils, and other organizations and businesses for more ways to get involved.

There are tremendous opportunities at all levels for young people willing to work hard A new school year is upon us and I look forward to helping connect Nebraska youth with experiences which will last a lifetime.

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