Student eager to attend Young Leaders conference

Tyler Jennings

Tyler Jennings

ALBANY, Ga. -- Tyler Jennings has never been to the nation's capital, but will be seeing and visiting many Washington, D.C., area sites when she takes part in the Junior National Young Leaders Conference.

The six-day conference begins today and will include educational activities and presentations.

"I haven't (been to D.C.) and I'm really excited," said Tyler, 10, a rising sixth-grader at Deerfield-Windsor School. "I want to go to the White House. I want to see Lincoln's bedroom. It always seemed interesting to me. He's kind of one of my favorite presidents."

Tyler was nominated to attend the conference celebrating its 25th year this summer by her fifth-grade English teacher, Myra Walker. She will be joining Radium Springs Middle Magnet School of the Arts sixth-grader Antonio Leroy II at the D.C. conference.

The conference, themed "Voices of Leadership: Reflecting on the Past to Create the Future," is one of the 18 weeklong Washington events hosted by the Congressional Youth Leadership Council this summer for some of the nation's top fifth and sixth graders. Eight similar conferences are scheduled for this fall for the same age group of students by the nonpartisan and educational organization.

"I'm very proud of Tyler," said her mother, Susan M. Haynes, executive director of Communities in Schools of Albany/Dougherty. "She's a very passionate child and very bright. I hope she gets to meet and network with other children in the country and see historic sites. While she's there, she'll learn about being a leader in her community and in her school."

Tyler will visit pivotal Civil War town Harpers Ferry, W.Va., the Newseum, tour the Lincoln, Vietnam Veterans and Korean War Veterans memorials, visit the National Museum of American History and have a White House photo opportunity. She will also attend a sleepover at the Maryland Science Center.

"I am delighted, but not surprised by Tyler's selection to the Junior National Young Leaders Conference," Deerfield Headmaster Dave Davies said. "She distinguished herself this year as our student of the year in the Choosing Healthy Activities and Methods Promoting Safety (CHAMPS) program sponsored by the Dougherty County Sheriff's Department. I know that she will have an excellent experience in Washington, D.C., and will bring insights and perspectives to Deerfield-Windsor School."

Tyler, who also plays soccer, basketball and tennis, was one of nine founding members of the True Friends in Christ Book Club started Aug. 2, 2008. She is the group's treasurer. The only child originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., is also part of First Monumental Baptist Church's Perfected Praise Dance Ministry. Spelling and science are Tyler's favorite school subjects.

When the honor student grows up, Tyler said she wants to be a "pediatrician or a famous artist because I like to sketch."