Surry County 8-year-old to take part in National Youth Leadership Forum

By: Terry Harris | Email: Click Here
Posted: March 5, 2019 | 3:45 p.m.

Christian Burton is going on quite an adventure this summer when he will become the first Surry County School student to join outstanding elementary school students from across the state at the National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF): Pathways to STEM, in Washington, D.C. 

According to a press release from Envision, he will have the opportunity to take part in a unique academic development experience, NYLF Pathways to STEM – one of the Envision family of programs that enable students to explore their interests and experience learning beyond the classroom. Since 1985, Envision programs have served more than 800,000 students in more than 145 countries, with programs designed to help students develop the leadership, scholarship and career skills needed to succeed in today’s competitive college and career landscape, it said.

“Words cannot even begin to express just how happy and proud I was as parent to know that my son was selected to participate in such an impressive leadership forum,” said Christian’s mom, Ms. Scharnelle Hamlin.

“It is just a great opportunity for your child to learn and excel. I am excited for Christian to meet, work, and collaborate with fellow high-aspiring students from other cities and schools. At NYLF Pathways to STEM, students build the confidence and skills needed to excel in the classroom while gaining exposure to STEM fields and concepts. They learn how to adapt to and communicate in new situations, to new challenges, and with new people, which, given how rapidly the world is changing due to technology and innovation, are essential skills for success.”

Christian was nominated to attend the forum by his third grade teacher Mrs. Kimberly Hardy-Savage at Surry Elementary. In addition to participating in Boyz II Men and the G.U.I.D.E. Mentoring Program at his school, Christian is an AB Honor Roll student, plays football, basketball, and enjoys spending time with his family and friends.  

“Christian has a thirst for knowledge and quite an imagination that will allow him to succeed with any goals and aspirations he sets for himself,” Ms. Hamlin explained. “With dreams of being a Policeman, Christian is looking forward to gaining the hands-on experience in criminal investigation that this leadership forum provides.”   

Above all else, Hamlin said that what makes him so special is his heart. “Truly. He has an extremely big heart – so caring,  so loving. If he sees someone at school eating at a lunch table by themselves, he just will go and sit with them.” 

“I’m just excited about this opportunity for him,” she added. “It gives him the chance to see how much potential he has and how many opportunities may arise – how many people believe in him and his abilities. He has a lot of people pulling for him because they see the potential he has to do something great.”   

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