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Cinnaminson Seventh-Grader Learning Leadership Skills in DC

Justin Arnold is participating in a weeklong conference.

A Cinnaminson seventh-grader is in Washington, D.C., this week after being specially chosen to participate in a leadership conference, learning about debating, history and much more.

Justin Arnold, 12, is at the Junior National Young Leaders Conference, a program designed to provide young students with leadership skills.

Justin’s mother, Diana Martine, said she thinks the program will be “life-changing” for her son.

“I’m very proud of him and I just can’t imagine being 12 years old and getting an experience like that,” Martine said.

In only a couple days that he’s been down there, Justin and the other students learned about five centuries of news history at the Newseum. Martine said they learned about the role news plays in society with hands-on exhibits and the newest technology.

On Sunday evening, the students participated in a mock debate, discussing whether students should be allowed to wear peace patches to school. They did a study on First Amendment rights and used what they learned to argue their side.

Martine said Justin and the students also went to Harpers Ferry.

“They learned about slavery and its role in the development of the country,” Martine said.

Justin’s former teacher Michael Fries nominated him. And although Martine describes her son as a “science brainiac,” he’s interested in all topics.

“He’s a [seventh-grader] who loves school,” she said. “He watches the History Channel and stuff about wars. He asks a lot of questions. He’s definitely unique.”

Outside of school, the participates in track and swimming and wants to go to MIT after high school. He also recently applied for New Jersey Oraters, a group that is designed to help students with public speaking.

More than 250 high-achieving middle school students from across the United States are participating in the conference. Students are studying the impact of leadership throughout periods such as the Civil War and Reconstruction, World War II, the Great Depression and the Civil Rights Movement.  

Stay with Patch as we interview Justin at the end of the week about his trip. 

Justin Time July 12, 2012 at 01:21 AM
Yes, 90% Caucasion == diverse. I pity you and your small brain.
Justin Time July 12, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Hi, I'm (Insert your son's name here). Hi, I'm Justin. AMERICAN HERO.
Justin Time July 12, 2012 at 01:24 AM
I would hope someone employeed with Lockheed Martin would see through this a little. You guys should bring him on as an intern. Since he watches the History Channel and asks questions, he should be able to build you guys a more efficient jet or something.
Lynn Wixted July 12, 2012 at 02:26 AM
I know Justin Arnold very well personally. He is a smart, kind, caring kid who enjoys reading and studying. We are proud that such a considerate, friendly kid can experience something like this. I love living in Cinnaminson and appreciate good friends like Diana and Justin and am happy he can participate in this event!! For Justin Time why don't you move to a town that makes you happy . I believe Cinnaminson is very diverse. For example, my daughter had a blind girl in her class again this year. It is a shame people have to make something edifying into something negative. Lynn Wixted
Stew July 12, 2012 at 09:34 PM
To Justin Arnold, I hope you enjoy your experience and get everything you can out of it. As you can see from a certain blogger's post, when you don't get to have experiences such as this you become bitter and angry. If you get nothing but a trip to DC with your peers from around the country, so be it. Its an experience you will remeber for years to come. Justin Time, not knowing you personally I would venture to guess that you will reply to my post with witty negative stats and such. And while you have your negativity juices flowing, maybe you would care to comment on the SPCA and how we spend money to save puppies that should work for the shelter and health care. Come on dude... Let a 7th grader enjoy his moment in the spot light. As you re-read you post 10 times to make it sharp and cutting, spend the time to source out a hug. You need one man...

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