Covington student attending forum

WASHINGTON, DC. — Outstanding elementary school students from across the nation will take part in a unique academic development experience, the National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF): Pathways to STEM. Held on campuses across the country, the forum inspires students in grades third through fifth to explore life as an engineer, a doctor, or a detective.

Brock Gessner, was nominated by his third grade teacher, Mrs. Knick at Covington Elementary School, to take part in the National Youth Leadership Forum this week, July 10-14 at Bowling Green State University.

Gessner is the son of Kelly Thomas and Philip Gessner.

“This is a great opportunity for high-achieving scholars to get outside the classroom and see, through hands-on interactive learning, how to innovate and think creatively,” said Andrew Potter, the Chief Academic Officer for NYLF Pathways to STEM. “These students, who have already proven themselves academically, are challenged to work on real-world, student-created projects to bring their studies to life.”

Students who attend the program study engineering, medicine, and forensic science in a journey that introduces them to potential college and career paths. Simulation and role-playing exercises also introduce them to team-building, problem-solving, presentation skills and goal-setting, all of which are essential for success in the 21st century.

“They will scrub in as doctors, build robots and investigate classic ‘whodunit’ crimes,” Potter said. “Each experience is designed to tap into a student’s natural curiosity. For many, this is the beginning of a lifelong passion for a special area of interest.”

NYLF Pathways to STEM is part of the Envision family of programs (, which enable students of all ages 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.

For more information about the National Youth Leadership Forum: Pathways to STEM, visit