NCCEP’s Youth Congress is a youth leadership program that implements a student-focused curriculum, blending leadership development with life skills and strategies for increased learning.
This year’s Youth Congress is a transition from the previously offered Youth Leadership Summit, opening up the program to all GEAR UP projects interested in registering and accompanying one or more GEAR UP students. The program is open to 8th through 12th grade GEAR UP students, as determined by the GEAR UP Director.
NCCEP is partnering with the well-respected team at GEAR UP for Excellence, an organization committed to delivering high-impact training programs for teens. GEAR UP for Excellence will lead and deliver this year’s Youth Congress. GEAR UP for Excellence has been integrally involved in NCCEP’s previous Youth Leadership Summit since its inception.
GEAR UP youth who participate in the Youth Congress will have the opportunity to experience participating in a professional conference and interact and learn with other students from around the country. The students will also learn to be advocates for their schools and communities and will participate with their GEAR UP Program in visits with their U.S. Representatives on Capitol Hill. Nine students were selected from North Carolina; four of them are from Iredell-Statesville Schools.
Youth Congress participants will experience elements of the full conference, as well as training opportunities with only their peers throughout the duration of the conference which begins Monday morning, July 23rd and concludes with lunch on Wednesday, July 25th. In addition to the youth development and training, the students will have the opportunity to be a part of some of the plenary sessions at the conference, as well as an advocacy training offered to conference attendees.