West Milford sophomore walks in the footsteps of U.S. leaders

| 15 Feb 2012 | 09:41

West Milford — For nine days this summer, 10th grader Christopher Kachler joined high school students from across the United States at the National Young Leaders Conference (NYLC) in Washington, D.C. Chris, along with other students entering 10th, 11th, and 12th grade, enjoyed the incredible opportunity to, in the words of the NYLC, “develop… leadership skills by meeting and working with leaders of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government and by witnessing firsthand the US constitutional process.” Chris participated in several workshops and educational simulations, including one entitled, “If I Were President.” This simulation focused on executive decision making and the impact world leaders have on global events. In the “Testing the Constitution” simulation, Chris and his peers researched precedent cases to support their arguments in preparation for a mock Supreme Court. Early on the morning of Thursday, July 28, Chris and other NYLC attendees visited the floor of the House of Representatives and received a briefing from Texas Representative Louie Gohmert (R) before members of the House resumed their debate over the National Debt Ceiling, the topic that consumed the Congressional agenda that week. The NYLC attendees received a guided tour of the U.S. Capitol Building and met with House of Representative staffers before the morning’s end. Of course, no trip to Washington, D.C., would have been complete without a visit to the city’s historic sites, including the Lincoln, Korean War Veterans’, Vietnam Veterans’, and Vietnam Women’s Memorials, and the National Air & Space Museum, to name a few. Chris and his peers also explored Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, enjoyed breakfast at the National Press Club, and took in a Washington Nationals game against the New York Mets at National Park. A farewell semiformal dinner and dance cruise on the Potomac River brought the highly informative and exciting academic and social experience to a conclusion. As a result of successfully fulfilling all academic expectations set forth by the NYLC, Chris received two college credits under the category “Special Topics in Leadership” from George Mason University, also located in Washington, D.C. Chris was nominated for the program by West Milford High School social studies teacher, Jennifer Metcalf. Metcalf was a great inspiration to Chris throughout his freshman year while he studied world history under her instruction. The Congressional Youth Leadership Council (CYLC) is an independent, educational organization with members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on its honorary, bipartisan advisory board. CYLC is not affiliated with any political party or the federal government. For additional information about CYLC, visit www.cylc.org.