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Gigi Ekstrom
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Brandon Douglas, center, at Valley Forge.

This year, junior Brandon Douglas was selected to attend the Spirit of America Youth Leadership Program and spent his Spring Break in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. 

 
Brandon participated in a tour of Philadelphia, experienced historical reenactments, and studied leadership techniques throughout his three-day trip. 
 
The Freedoms Foundation, located in the heart of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, was established with the purpose of educating students and adults about the rights and responsibilities they are given as Americans and to teach Americans how to actively engage in our country's democratic government. The program allows students to engage in activities such as historical tours, educational workshops, and seminars to develop leadership skills. 

 

In order to be selected to attend this rigorous program, students must send in an application along with multiple essays and a layout of how the student will bring their leadership and knowledge of America to their community in ideas such as educating younger students, creating a fundraiser for local veterans, or coordinating a celebration for soldiers. 

 

The top ten students from the North Texas area were selected to be interviewed in front of a panel of men and women from the Dallas Chapter of the Freedoms Foundation. After the interview, five students are chosen to attend the all-expense-paid conference. 
 

"My trip to Valley Forge truly surprised me," said Brandon. "Unlike some leadership seminars I've attended, the speakers and activities engaged me from the start. I found my niche in the Vesper Committee (a talent and public speaking organization) and even got to contribute to the conference with a musical performance."

 

By Haley York
Marketing Intern, Class of 2015 

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