Newcomerstown High School student Amanda Rider, l, visits with U.S. Congressman Zach Space in Washington D.C.

NHS student attends leaders conference

Amanda Rider, a sophomore at Newcomerstown High School and the daughter of Bill and Pat Rider of Newcomerstown, represented the Tuscarawas Valley and the state of Ohio at the National Young Leaders Conference in October at Washington D.C.

The first day was filled with meeting the other representatives from all over the globe. They discussed career goals and the path needed to accomplish those goals. That evening, a meeting was held with the founder and CEO of Camp Heartland. The camp is a place for children and teens that were born with HIV/Aids to escape criticism and judgment and discuss the disease with others.

The second day was spent discussing changes they would like to make happen if they were President. Then a meeting was held with NASA representative Paul Brundage. He works in the Office of Procurement which manages the direction projects will take and procures the funding for those projects. The end of the day was spent visiting a number of memorials.

On day three, the group traveled to Capital Hill where everyone separated to meet with their individual State Representatives. Sherrod Brown and George Voinovich were not available to meet but made the staff available for questions. Representative Zachary Space made himself available to the group between votes and had a staff member give Rider a personal tour of the White House. The evening ended with an activity where the youth acted as the judicial system, having to put away personal beliefs to vote on the facts presented in a topic.

Day four found the group meeting at the National Press Club, where they met Nancy Ambrose (freelance producer), Elisabeth Bumiller (Pentagon correspondent at the New York Times), Jonathan Karl (Senior Capital Hill correspondent at ABC News) and Karen Tumulty (National Political correspondent at TIME). They spoke of some amazing places that they had visited and the inspiring traumatic stories that they had covered. The end of the day found the group back at the Conference Center engaging in a debate over illegal immigration.

The last day was spent visiting the U.S. Department of the Interior where a model Congress was held and the group spent most of the day trying to pass a bill which eventually failed. The day ended with a trip to the Smithsonian.

This conference provided Rider with valuable insight to the workings of the legal and judicial systems. She hopes to attend the Global Young Leaders Conference next year which starts in Washington D.C. and finishes in New York.