NSLC: Worthwhile?

Jocelyn Rosillo, Writer

The National Student Leadership Conference has sent thousands of messages to students from all around the world to join their special summer “enrichment programs.” In order to receive an invitation to participate, you must be in middle school or high school and have an NSLC, and college board account.


Though they are a highly esteemed program, there are ups and downs to applying/enrolling.


As stated by the organization, some pros of joining are gaining knowledge and experience within a specific career, improving your leadership skills, getting used to the college commune and meeting new people, along with professionals of that field.


Though you will be able to do all that, you have to first overcome the applications, your shyness, and the cost of the program for the time of your stay. 


As stated on their website, students are chosen carefully through anonymous sources, college board questionnaires, GPA and test scores, though many recipients doubt the selection system.


On student, Thong Tia even questioned how they got his information. 


This sophomore stated, “I got it in the mail but I was kind of confused. I do not remember releasing my information to them,” he continued. “Like, it was out of nowhere and I just can’t do it; the program is way too expensive.”


The cost of the program is what students, associates, and parents call the biggest obstacle when thinking of joining but future benefits are promised. 


The invitation clearly states, “Upon completion of an NSLC program, you will be awarded an Academic Transcript, Letters of recommendation and a Certificate of Achievement to include on your college Applications.” Still, the expense ranges from $2,595 for the Mastering Leadership Program to $5,795 for the Acting Intensive program. They provide an all-inclusive stay in which you travel around to many places to learn about a specific career, programs last anywhere from 6-18days. 


Former recipient Terra Duran, 12, said she was only worried about the cost, saying it was too expensive for her and many others to pay while still in highschool.


Duran exclaimed, “I was flattered and really excited. I knew many who were invited but we all didn’t go for the same reason: cost,” she went on. “Plus, I’d be going very far for the first time alone to stay with complete strangers and no true idea of what to expect.” Thus proving safety as another possible issue.


When researching NSLC online, one may find mixed opinions on their summer programs, but the number one concern is safety. Questions such as “‘Will the students be supervised?’ ‘Will there be proper transportation?’ and ‘Will my child be picked up from the airport?” are frequently asked. Luckily, every question was answered by former attendees or concerned and qualified mothers. 


Overall, safety should not be a concern. The students will be picked up from the airport by a secure car provided by NSLC, then taken to the campus for a week or so, where other students and faculty will meet them. They will be accompanied by a staff member to every excursion or kept in contact with when alone-time is needed.  


Mother of 2020 student leadership conference recipient, Debra Villescas, explained what she thought of the program.


Villescas commented saying, “It seems like a great opportunity but I feel it is too nerve-wracking for both parties [myself and my daughter] to go,” she reported. “And we can probably find something that could look almost as good on college apps, possibly be more beneficial for a fraction of the price.” 


Though she does congratulate all those who were invited and love that programs like these exist. Overall, one’s financial situation and true willingness are factors to consider when deciding whether to join the program or not.