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Congressional Youth Leadership Council

branderson925branderson925 Posts: 450- Member
I got this thing in the mail which I am not sure about. I was nominated (? is it even exclusive, like it said the GPA requirements but idk if teachers actually recommend people) it sounds like they might just mail it out to a lot of people to make mad moneys

Anyone here do it? Is it worth it? How does it look for college?

Thanks
Post edited by branderson925 on
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Replies to: Congressional Youth Leadership Council

  • ProcrastiNateProcrastiNate Posts: 616- Member
    its not exclusive at all, nor does it look that good for any selective college (not that it looks bad, it just isn't competitive at all)

    however, that doesnt mean it isn't a really good experience. from what i've heard, people learn some stuff and have a lot of fun with it
  • nantzinnantzin Posts: 1Registered User New Member
    As a teacher at a large public school in Long Beach, CA, I affirm that teachers get CYLC letters sent to them. I have been receiving them for at least three or four years. They ask teachers to give the CYLC names of students they feel should be nominated. I don't know if they take everyone that is nominated, but it does look that way because they do not ask for a GPA and there is no way for them to find out what the GPA of a high school student is without infringing federal and state laws dealing with student privacy.

    This group may be providing a great opportuinity to kids, but at a cost of $1470 plus a recommended $89 "Tuition and Travel Plan" insurance purchase they are amazingly expensive for a four day conference. I just throw their snail mail away because I would never consider recommending that any of my students spend this much money for an unknown product.
  • amy11112222amy11112222 Posts: 77Registered User Junior Member
    My son (10th grade) just attended this GREAT program in Washington DC.
    I have to first comment to poster NANTZIN - as a teacher, it astonishes me that you just throw away this material because you are unfamiliar with the program. What a disservice to your students!

    Anyway - my son was recommended for this program from his h.s. guidance dept, and I was skeptical of the smooth marketing materials and high price tag. However, I did the research and found the program to be legitimate. Yes, the "selectivity" is questionable, as they 'request' schools to only nominate a certain range of student and they do not appear to validate the candidate’s credentials. Schools recommend students who are supposed to have a 3.7 and show leadership potential.

    This program CYLC:: Congressional Youth Leadership Council is a non profit 501(c)(3) org, and is high a caliber leadership / government conference. There are 5 day conferences in the fall and spring and longer in the summer. About 250 HS students from around the country attended my sons fall conference, and they were a bright, outspoken, thoughtful, intelligent, etc. group of students. The week was spent learning about our government through lectures and meetings with DC officials, as well as researching and performing 3 mock scenarios: President; Congress; Supreme Court. They did some touring around DC, but also spent time on the house floor, watched and learned about a vote congress making, met with their state's congressional representatives and senators, met w/ the press corp. etc.

    As an example of their group activities, my son was chief lobbyist for a mock congressional task, and had to go to the various caucuses to lobby for his bill. In addition to learning about our government, he truly did have an awesome "leadership" experience. He spoke frequently to the entire group during their exercises.

    Probably one of the best benefits to me was his meeting other high caliber students like himself who are passionate about government and politics, and who intelligently debate the issues. He loved loved loved it, and is planning on either going back to this organization for their global conference, or their presidential inauguration week.

    do the research on this one..it is a quality experience.
    (By the way, I would not say this is a gold star on the college application, just a great experience. I would only recommend it for kids interested in politics and debate, not just something for their resume)
  • chocoholicchocoholic Posts: 2,995Registered User Senior Member
    I know many kids who receive the invitation, and its nothing to do with GPA or being smart. My neighbor's D got one, and her mom tells me she has a 3.2. But whatever.

    Kids have gone and had a good time. It's not a scam, but its not an experience that you couldn't get in other ways. I do know that the invitations to some of these things come in fancy card stock, gold embossed, Eagle emblems etc.


    Kids can participate in Debate, Mock Trials, Congress, etc. right in your own HS, or volunteer at Government offices etc. and can get a lot more insight into processes than by listening to people talk for 3 days.

    At Our HS, which is very well rated, the HS teachers and GCs all tell the students (if asked) not to bother spending that money.
  • chocoholicchocoholic Posts: 2,995Registered User Senior Member
    As for an organization calling itself Non-profit, does not mean its actually doing public service or community service. All of the board could be very handsomely compensated, and they probably are.
  • amy11112222amy11112222 Posts: 77Registered User Junior Member
    My son had a 100% positive experience at this program, which is why I was inclined to respond to this thread. I would hope that others whose child or student had actually attended the program would also respond - with either a positive or a negative comment, so that readers could get a first hand account. These programs do in fact "sell out". There are many students benefiting from the experience, and I think it's unfortunate that skeptics dismiss the program because of the glossy marketing materials, or price tag, or because students with GPA below an A+ are able to attend.

    This should be looked at as a quality educational experience - a supplement and extension to their HS classes and clubs. Don't attend just to pad your resume, but attend to learn more about our government and experience DC first hand.

    In response to people who question the legitimacy of this program because of the price tag:
    There are some (rare) educational programs that are free - that a student can be awarded admittance to based on superior academic achievement, and be awarded a scholarship to attend. They are wonderful opportunities for the exceptional student.
    For the other 99.9% of the students, there are some programs available which, unfortunately, cost money to attend. Having a cost doesn't mean their legitimacy or benefit should be automatically suspect. (Yes, some non-profit organizations pay their staff. I don't have a problem with that)
    I have heard this same argument w/ regard to the Johns Hopkins CTY (center for talented youth) program, which is almost $3000 for a 3-week program. My other son attended that twice, and it was the highest caliber program. Cost money, but it was a good educational and personal growth experience.
    Participants in CYLC do NOT sit around listening to speakers for days of the program, as a previous poster implied. Look at their website and look at the sample schedule that they have for your review.
    Prior to attending CYLC, my son had already participated in his schools model congress and other club programs. That was (and is) great, but CYLC takes it to a higher level.
    If your child has access to their state govt. offices, and can be a congressional page, or can intern in their offices, then great! That would be a great way to learn first hand about this topic. However, for us (and I would think most of the country) that is a geographical impossibility.
    To sum it up: great program. Look at the website and read their materials to learn more about it. Don’t dismiss it because it's not free, or someone with a 3.2 may slip in.
  • JMIONE1JMIONE1 Posts: 194Registered User Junior Member
    my opinion, Marketing Scam not worth it.
  • chocoholicchocoholic Posts: 2,995Registered User Senior Member
    Having a cost doesn't mean their legitimacy or benefit should be automatically suspect. (Yes, some non-profit organizations pay their staff. I don't have a problem with that)
    I actually said it was not a scam, in the sense that they do provide "some program". But do realize that it is a heavily marketed program, and it is neither exclusive nor gpa-based.

    Also, why do you say SOME non-profits pay their staff. Can you name a non-profit where all the employees are volunteers?

    By the way, did you know that the parent company of CYLC, NYLC etc. is a commercial enterprise, used to be called Envison EMI, or somesuch. And Envision has all these non-profit spin-offs. Pretty smart.

    A non-profit probably has to show no surplus of revenue over expenditure. How difficult do you think it might be to have expenses (salaries, rents, etc) = revenue?

    What I would like to see, is if the organization is funded largely by donations. I doubt it.

    Its great for the kids who have attended and enjoyed. I'm sure most kids would. You can call it a supplement and an extension, but a quality educational experience is a stretch. I guess its an opinion thing.

    By the way, I did not use the term 'State Government'. Government is at all levels, and no-one is more than a few miles away from being able to get involved if their interests lay in that direction. Cities, towns, borroughs and villages have government.
  • asc3ndasc3nd Posts: 547Registered User Member
    The program wont have a big affect on colleges, but a few advantages that you can gain from it are:
    1) meet with peeps from around country
    2) meet with governor/senate/representative - take advantage of this!
    3) Hear some 'big' people from the government give speeches, then later get to ask them questions.

    O and i forgot --- intensive schedule (1-2 hour of free time from 5 in the morning to 11 in the night)
  • oncampusoncampus Posts: 335Registered User Member
    I did the NYLC program run by the same people, and I loved it. Met some great people, learned a lot, had a ton of fun, improved my public speaking, among other things. I also got to tour the Austrian embassy (students were split among visiting different embassies), and had a meal at the National Press Club where I was able to meet and talk with Helen Thomas. I also got to tour DC, which I hadn't done in years. All in all, I'd recommend it (NYLC, at least) for anyone into politics or leadership. I believe it was well worth the money, or at least that I took full advantage of everything offered.

    One of my friends did a similar program run by Envision EMI (NYLF), and had the same sorts of good experiences.
  • amy11112222amy11112222 Posts: 77Registered User Junior Member
    I find i want to go off point w/ your response to my post, so i'll resist discussing my views on non-profits, and just say that the cylc experience offers a broader experience than can be found 'at home' and with being involved with school, local, or even state government.
    I see some students who have attended the program have posted, and i hope others continue so that the readers of this forum can get more first hand accts of their experience.
  • chocoholicchocoholic Posts: 2,995Registered User Senior Member
    That's fine. Its just that you mentioned non-profits in the first place.:rolleyes:

    No-one should promote a program as being run by a non-profit organization without understanding what a non-profit is, and that the top brass in a non-profit could be earning huge incomes.
  • mochamavenmochamaven Posts: 878Registered User Member
    I served as a House Page a few summers ago and saw a lot of CYLC/NYLF/etc kids around the Capitol on a regular basis. It seemed like a fun time, but when they got to hear Representatives speak they were often in a group of 500 sitting on the House floor (when Congress wasn't in session, obviously) and only a few people got to ask questions. It was hard even for pages to see our Senators more than a few times when we were living two blocks away from the Capitol for months. When a couple pages asked some of the CYLC/NYLF supervisors how many of the kids actually got to meet their senators, they told us about 1 in 10. And when they did, it was often in really big groups. Meeting really "big names" is sort of cool, but when all you get to do is shake their hand and take a picture, or maybe be part of a large discussion, I'm not sure it's worth thousands of dollars in comparison to other things. Being a page is wonderful (and you do NOT need to be from the DC area...most pages aren't; room and board are taken out of a page's salary). If that's not an option, state/local Congressional offices or state/local government offices can be awesome too -- you might not meet as many "big names" but you'll get a MUCH more extensive, insightful view of how the political process looks by diving headfirst into it, even if it's not as shiny or star-studded. Plus, you can save a few thousand dollars lol -- internships like that are free, or even compensated!
  • oncampusoncampus Posts: 335Registered User Member
    I served as a House Page a few summers ago and saw a lot of CYLC/NYLF/etc kids around the Capitol on a regular basis. It seemed like a fun time, but when they got to hear Representatives speak they were often in a group of 500 sitting on the House floor (when Congress wasn't in session, obviously) and only a few people got to ask questions. It was hard even for pages to see our Senators more than a few times when we were living two blocks away from the Capitol for months. When a couple pages asked some of the CYLC/NYLF supervisors how many of the kids actually got to meet their senators, they told us about 1 in 10. And when they did, it was often in really big groups. Meeting really "big names" is sort of cool, but when all you get to do is shake their hand and take a picture, or maybe be part of a large discussion, I'm not sure it's worth thousands of dollars in comparison to other things. Being a page is wonderful (and you do NOT need to be from the DC area...most pages aren't; room and board are taken out of a page's salary). If that's not an option, state/local Congressional offices or state/local government offices can be awesome too -- you might not meet as many "big names" but you'll get a MUCH more extensive, insightful view of how the political process looks by diving headfirst into it, even if it's not as shiny or star-studded. Plus, you can save a few thousand dollars lol -- internships like that are free, or even compensated!
    The trip is much more than meeting your senator - I don't even think they played this up on the application. We did get to meet with our congressmen though, in small groups.
  • sdsoccerdadsdsoccerdad Posts: 1Registered User New Member
    Congressional Youth Leadership Council - cylc.org legit?

    Can't dispute the good experiences of the participants, but the operations are not open. Did some research and found this:

    1) Non-profit CYLC contracts almost everything to a for-profit company - Envision EMI.
    No staff listed on website, administration costs hidden.
    Why does a private company have such a major role?
    2) CYLC:: Congressional Youth Leadership Council uses a virtual street address in Washington DC.
    1700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 400
    The address is shared by other businesses and a virtual office company.

    From the research below, I have concerns in supporting CYLC as a public good non-profit organization.

    San Diego Soccer Dad


    More details:


    1) Non-profit CYLC contracts for almost everything to a for-profit company - Envision EMI.
    A non-profit for the public good should have fairly paid staff and reasonable fees, with no
    personal gain. CYLC is not open about how they operate financially.

    From GuideStar nonprofit reports and Forms 990 for donors, grantmakers and businesses (a searchable library of non-profit IRS returns)
    $48.1 million expenses in 2005 form 990
    of which
    16.1 program management fees to Envision EMI
    7.7 million lodging and travel
    5.3 million printing and postage

    Wikipedia discusses criticism and support of cylc.org.

    Guidestar provides open transparent viewing of how non-profits operate, since they
    exist for the public good. CYLC.org website lists no staff, which is unusual.
    Envision EMI (Envision EMI - Educate, Motivate, Inspire) appears privately-owned by Richard Rossi.

    2) Can't support that CYLC.org uses a virtual address in Washington DC.
    1700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 400

    Google the address and other organizations also use this address such as ...
    Worldwide Employee Benefits Network, 1700 Pennsylvania Avenue
    Global Energy Alliance Corporation

    And they reference this business:
    Executive Suites and Virtual Offices in DC, VA, MD - Preferred Offices
    Good luck.
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