The Congressional Youth Leadership Council (CYLC), an independent, educational organization, was founded in 1985 and is located just outside of Washington, D.C. in Vienna, VA. Our mission is to foster and inspire young people to achieve their full leadership potential. To date, over 200,000 young people representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia, American territories and over 100 countries have participated in CYLC programs.
CYLC is a tuition-based, self-supporting organization, with many students securing financial support from local business, civic, community and leadership organizations. The CYLC online, interactive Student Fundraising Guide helps students identify funding sources and outlines steps for a successful fundraising effort.
No, the Congressional Youth Leadership Council is a nonpartisan, educational organization.
Sponsored by the Congressional Youth Leadership Council, the National Young Leaders Conference (NYLC) takes place in the nation’s capital and is designed to motivate and inspire top high school students from across the United States. 10-day sessions are offered each summer. The theme of the Conference is The Leaders of Tomorrow Meeting the Leaders of Today. NYLC offers young people an opportunity to discuss current issues with the men and women who shape our policies and laws. NYLC challenges participants to assess problems, contribute to group discussions and take on roles in educational simulations and activities based on the three branches of government. Through these hands-on experiences, students develop important leadership skills by learning to evaluate critical information, form and advocate positions and make decisions. NYLC also provides scholars with the opportunity to explore career opportunities and practice networking skills.
NYLC accepts high school sophomores, juniors and seniors who meet the highest criteria in academics and leadership. These remarkable scholars are nominated by high school educators or CYLC alumni in conjunction with school officials. In addition, Achievement Nominations are granted based on information provided on voluntary pre-college surveys, such as the National Research Center for College & University Admissions Post-Secondary Planning Survey. Survey participants have requested that the survey information be made available to colleges, universities and other approved educational organizations.
Please click here to view a sample schedule, which is provided to demonstrate the pace and composition of a typical session.
Once you have been invited to attend NYLC, you should follow the guidelines below to ensure that you are enrolled in the program. Enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis, so we encourage you to apply early.
- You and your parent should enroll online or complete the personalized application located in the invitation and return it along with tuition payment to our Office of Admissions. Should NYLC be full, you will be placed on a wait list and payment will not be processed.
- If you are accepted, we will provide you with detailed information regarding your session prior to the start of the program.
Click here to read the complete Student Code of Conduct.
Tuition covers the expenses incurred by CYLC in planning and implementing the program. Included in the tuition costs are lodging, all breakfasts and dinners (including arrival and departure days), curriculum materials, compensation for the faculty advisors and private motor coach transportation within Washington, D.C. Transportation to and from Washington, D.C. is not included. Students will need money only for lunches, souvenirs and other incidentals (phone calls, snacks, etc.).
If you received a letter and other materials in the mail regarding your selection to attend the National Young Leaders Conference, click here to view all available scholarships.
Your Student ID can be found in the letter and on the Enrollment Application you received in the mail. If you have enrolled in the program, your Student ID can also be found in your acceptance materials. When entering your Student ID, be sure to include the dash. (Ex: 1000000-10000000).
The National Young Leaders Conference is proud to offer a limited number of scholarships to students. Through the scholarship program, CYLC opens the door to young leaders from a variety of backgrounds across the U.S.
For nominees who are interested in fundraising to help offset the cost of tuition, CYLC has prepared a Sponsorships & Student Fundraising Guide featuring helpful, step-by-step suggestions and activities that enable nominees to fundraise.
We recognize that fundraising may delay the submission of your application, so we encourage you to contact the Office of Admissions and let us know you have initiated your fundraising efforts. While we cannot guarantee a space in the Conference, we make every effort to accommodate students who are fundraising with the intent to attend.
Scholarship applicants should expect notification by e-mail approximately two weeks after the scholarship deadline date has passed. Scholarship applicants who do not provide an operable e-mail address will receive notification by mail, approximately three weeks after the scholarship deadline date has passed. The scholarship deadline date is listed on the Tuition & Financial Assistance page.
Students are closely supervised throughout the Conference. Our staff includes the program director, faculty advisors (who serve as educational facilitators and chaperones), security personnel and operations personnel. The student-to-staff ratio is 17-to-1. Faculty advisors take attendance several times a day at every conference site and perform room checks every evening. Night monitors are employed to ensure that students remain in their rooms and to provide support for students who become ill or have an emergency at night.
- We greet students at IAD and DCA airports and provide transportation to the conference site.
- We only provide single-sex dorm or hotel rooms.
- The student-to-staff ratio is 17-to-1.
- Attendance is taken throughout the Conference.
- Our staff is comprised of highly trained and experienced faculty advisors.
- Night monitors are on duty each evening.
- Evening room checks occur each night.
- Students travel by private motor coach and never use public transportation during the Conference.
Students and staff reside at local universities, hotels or conference centers in the greater Washington, D.C. area. Students will be housed three to a room, and each student will have his or her own bed. Please be aware that roommate requests are not accepted. Please confirm that your scholar has enrolled in the desired session before making any travel arrangements.
Roommate requests are not accepted. We randomly assign rooms and roommates prior to your arrival day. This is done to give scholars the opportunity to get to know peers from other areas of the country. We strongly believe that learning about - and from - other young leaders from all over the country provides a significant leadership development opportunity.
The Congressional Youth Leadership Council (CYLC) has selected WorldTEK, a travel management company, to serve as its official travel agency. We highly recommend that CYLC families contact WorldTEK to determine the lowest available airfares and arrange their travel. Click here to learn more.
Each student has the option of enrolling in our Tuition and Travel Protection Plan for an additional fee. This trip cancellation insurance is recommended and can be purchased during enrollment. If you would like to know more specifics about the Tuition and Travel Protection Plan, please call the plan administrator, Nationwide, toll-free at (866) 282-3987.
The first step of your journey includes assessing your strengths and opportunities for growth. To aid in this assessment, you must complete a pre-Conference assignment entitled Feedback for Understanding Emerging Leaders (FUEL).
Please ask your mentors and peers to complete the survey no later than one week prior to your arrival at the Conference. You will see the results on the first day of the Conference. The assignment is mandatory for all scholars.
Please select at least five (5) mentors you know and respect and ask them to complete a short survey that assesses your
strengths and opportunities for growth. These individuals may be teachers, club sponsors, coaches, youth group leaders
or other adult mentors that you know. You may also ask one (1) adult family member to complete the survey. In
addition, you must also complete the assessment, rating your own leadership abilities.
Both you and your mentors will need to visit the following web site to complete the survey:
www.cylc.org/nylc/feedback. Be sure to contact your chosen mentors beforehand and ask them to visit the site. They
will need to enter your Student ID, which can be found in your acceptance letter. Please ask your mentors to complete
this survey no later than one week prior to your arrival at NYLC. You will see the results during your initial leadership
About three weeks before the Conference, you will receive an e-mail updating you on how many mentors and peers
have completed your survey. Please make sure to read this e-mail carefully.
Vegetarian options are always available, and kosher meals can be made available upon request. Please contact the Office of Admissions to make a special request.
All lost and found items are retained by conference staff for 2 weeks following the Conference. Items of higher monetary value are retained for 30 days after the Conference concludes. After 30 days, all items remaining are discarded or donated. We strongly recommend following the advice provided in the suggested packing list, which includes placing your child's name on all personal belongings that he or she will be bringing to the Conference.
If your question is not listed above, please click here to contact the Office of Admissions.