Johnston Student to Participate in Nat’l Youth Leadership Conference

(Submitted by Meghan Zierke and Envision Experience)

Reagan Zierke

Reagan Zierke

Johnston, Iowa – This summer, Johnston Middle School student Reagan Zierke will join middle school students from across the nation to take part in a unique academic and career-oriented development experience, the Junior National Youth Leadership Conference (jrNYLC) in Washington, D.C.

jrNYLC is one of the Envision family of programs ( that enable students to explore their interests and experience learning beyond the classroom.

Zierke is an eighth-grade student at Johnston Middle School. He participates in band at school, as well as taking drum lessons at a local music store. Zierke also has been playing piano for five years. He was nominated for and attended the Belin Blank Summer Institute’s Advanced Science Program at the University of Iowa in June 2019. He also participated in a First Lego League team that received awards at both regional and state levels in 2016 and 2017. Zierke hopes to have a career related to computer science.

“I’m so thankful for the nomination to attend this program,” Zierke says. “It sounds like it will be a great opportunity to explore Washington, D.C. and learn more about leadership and our government.”

“As an alumna of Envision myself, I am excited for Reagan to meet, work, and collaborate with other high-aspiring students from across the country,” said Amanda Freitag Thomas, SVP for Envision. “Hands down, my favorite part of attending an Envision program was being with motivated students in an environment designed to help us challenge our assumptions, meet new people, and grow. Creating that same learning environment is a central focus for all of our programs. At jrNYLC, students build the confidence and skills needed to excel in high school, college, and the workplace. 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.”

Part of WorldStrides, a leading provider of educational travel and experiences, Envision offers programs designed to help students develop the leadership, scholarship, and career skills needed to succeed in today’s competitive college and career landscape. Since 1985, Envision programs have served more than 800,000 students from more than 145 countries.