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NY Mills student walks in footsteps of U.S. leaders

Austin Haman, a 7th grader at New York Mills Schools, is shown here in front of the Lincoln Memorial last week. Austin was selected to attend the Junior National Young Leaders Conference held in Washington, D.C.

A New York Mills 7th grader was among over 250 outstanding middle school students from across the United States to take part in a leadership conference in Washington, D.C., themed Voices of Leadership: Reflecting on the Past to Create the Future.

Austin Haman, son of Jason and Jodi Haman, attended the Junior National Young Leaders Conference (JrNYLC) Oct. 10-15. The conference introduces young people to the rich tradition of leadership throughout American history, while helping them 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, 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."

Sites Haman and other students visited during the six-day program included: Harper's Ferry, Newseum, U.S. Capitol, Korean Veterans Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, White House, Washington Monument; as well as a sleepover at the Maryland Science Center.

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.

Austin Haman was nominated by NY Mills 6th grade teacher Laurine Braukmann, who recognized him as one of a select group of students with the scholastic merit, maturity and strength of character to represent New York Mills Schools at this unique leadership program for exceptional 6th and 7th graders.

Austin would like to thank the following sponsors for making his trip possible: All County Insurance, American Family Insurance, Ameriprise Financial, Bake Shoppe & Deli, Bluffton Hardware, Bluffton Lions, Centennial Realty, Certified Auto, Dan's Towing & Repair, Dairyland Vet Service, Dean's Country Market, Designs by Tess, Dorothy Eskeli, Eagles Cafe, Farmers Union Insurance, New York Mills Garden Club, Gibbs #10 Sales, Arnold & Carolyn Haman, Don & Darlene Holtti, Head Quarters on Main, Heart of the Lakes Credit Union, Joanies Beauty Salon, Karvonen's & Sons Funeral Home, L & L Service, Larson Accounting, Leaf River Ag, Mid-State Auto Auction, Mills Canvas, Mills Creamery, Mills Lanes, Mills Movies, NYM Family Spine Clinic, NYM Lions, Norton Printing & Signs Plus, Rich & Sharon Ericksrud, Roger & Georgia Bentley, NYM Subway, Suns Up & Tanning, Vaughn Auto & Marine, Lake Region Electric Employees, Lauraine Braukmann, David & Janet Malone, EOT 4-H Federation, Jason & Jodi Haman and anyone else left out in error.

Upon completion of JrNYLC, students gain a greater sense of understanding of the role of individuals in American democracy, as well as the responsibilities of being a leader, this according to a JrNYLC news release.

(CYLC is a nonpartisan, educational organization. Since 1985, the council has inspired more than 200,000 young people to achieve their full leadership potential. Members of the U.S. Congress join the council's commitment by serving on the CYLC Honorary Congressional Board of Advisors. In addition, more than 40 embassies participate in the council's Honorary Board of Embassies.)