Aurora West College Preparatory Academy sixth-grade student Aleksa Thomas is poised to become a great leader, and she recently took advantage of a rare opportunity to sharpen her skills.

Teachers and other mentors throughout the community selected Thomas to attend the Junior National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C. The annual event offers mature, high-achieving middle school students the opportunity to learn about leadership by studying the leaders of the past and by focusing on social advocacy to make a positive impact in their homes and communities.

Conference sessions are designed to educate, inspire and motivate students by giving them the confidence and leadership skills that will take them through high school and beyond. Students receive personal guidance and direction from dedicated and experienced faculty advisors and are also provided with materials designed to foster self-directed experiential learning.