Each week, Marple Newtown Patch will seek suggestions from readers for individual kids, youth groups, teens, and even sports teams that wow us with their accomplishments. This week we highlight the Rubin twins for being chosen to participate in the Junior National Young Leaders Conference taking place in Washington, D.C., from July 29-Aug. 3.
Patch Whiz Kids of the Week: Alysa and Jacob Rubin
Whiz Kids' Age: 11
Whiz Kids' School:
Whiz Kids' Accomplishment: This summer, over 250 outstanding middle school students from across the United States–including the Rubin twins–will take part in an extraordinary leadership conference in Washington, D.C. Themed Voices of Leadership: Reflecting on the Past to Create the Future, the Junior National Young Leaders Conference (JrNYLC) introduces young people to the rich tradition of leadership throughout American history, while helping them to develop their own leadership skills.
“The aim of the Junior National Young Leaders Conference is to inspire students to recognize their own leadership skills, measure their skills against those of current and former leaders and return home with new confidence in their ability to exercise positive influence within their communities,” said Marguerite Regan, Ph.D., Dean of Academic Affairs for the Congressional Youth Leadership Council
(CYLC), the organization that sponsors JrNYLC. “Young people are not only welcome in Washington, D.C., they actually keep this city and our country running.”
During the six-day program, students take part in educational activities and presentations and explore relevant sites, such as Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.’s museums and memorials.
According to school records, Alysa and Jacob join a long line of Loomis alumni who over the years have been invited to to attend the Junior National Young Leaders Conference during the 50-plus year history of Loomis Elementary School.
Whiz Kids' Key to Awesomeness: The first time the twins will be attending the leadership conference (without their parents), you can say they're excited.
"I cannot wait," says Alysa, who attended the National Young Scholars Program at Villanova University last year. "We're just going to go on our own. The parents come at the end of the conference. I'm looking to make some new friends from other areas because a lot of other people are going to be there from other states. And I'm hoping to gain more knowledge of more things I don't know yet and also learn more leadership skills to be a future leader."
For Jacob, he's looking to get away from the area for a bit and to tour around Washington, D.C.
"At the conference we get tours of all these places. That's going to be really fun. I'm really looking forward to that–I could get away from here for five days," says Jacob.
Straight 'A' students and at the top of their class, the Rubin twins have already thought about their future careers.
After her grandmother's passing, Alysa says she immediately knew what she wanted to do in the future.
"My grandmom died of lung cancer in 2008. Ever since she died, I knew I wanted to find a cure for cancer," says Alysa, whose favorite subject is health because she likes "learning about the human body and how it works."
Jacob found his calling by other means–well, specifically on TV.
"I was watching this TV show where a marine biologist came on and I thought what he was doing was so cool. I really like all the animals in the ocean and want to learn more about them because I'm not really that knowledgeable about them. I would really like to be a marine biologist, but if I can't do that then a scientist," says Jacob, whose favorite subject is science because "you get to do all these hands-on messy activities."
Though they've got years to think about their future careers, the twins' immediate future lies at . The twins recently graduated from the fifth grade and will move onto the middle school for sixth grade.
Jacob says after touring the middle school for the first time on a fifth-grade field trip, he's sure "I'll get lost a couple of times (seeing how big it is) but other than that, I'm excited to go to the middle school." Jacob says he's also looking forward to learning a foreign language next year, particularly French, because of a slated field trip to Quebec.
Alysa says she's most excited for meeting new people and being in a bigger school. She's looking forward to joining several of the clubs offered at the middle school, including the middle school's radio station and TV broadcast.
"My dad works on the radio so I kind of wanted to see what that's like," says Alysa.
Editor's note: Know a great kid who made Eagle Scout or did your local soccer team take the championship? They may be our next Patch Whiz Kid honoree. We want to hear about these amazing children and teens and select one each week as the Patch Whiz Kid.