2 Sumter students accepted into youth leadership forum


Two public school students from Sumter will take part in separate National Youth Leadership Forum programs this summer.

Joel Sinner and Faith Olivia Livingston will join other high-achieving students from across the nation to attend Envision programs, a company that provides nearly 20 different career, leadership and technology programs that take place in cities across the United States and world.

Sinner will attend the NYLF: Explore STEM program at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

He was nominated to attend the forum by his eighth-grade teacher at Furman Middle School. In addition to being nominated for Outstanding Student of the Year with the Evening Optimist Club and finishing the school year second in his class, he is also passionate about robotics and coding, according to a news release. He said his dream job would be to code space rovers for NASA.

He said he is looking forward to gaining the hands-on robotics design and programming experience that the forum provides. He is also excited to hear from the keynote speaker, former NASA astronaut Col. Brian Duffy.

"As an alumna of Envision myself, I am excited for Joel 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 NYLF Explore STEM, 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."

Livingston, a rising sophomore and honor student at Sumter High School, will take part in the NYLF: STEM Medicine I program at the University of Maryland in Washington, D.C. She has already attended the program at Wake Forest last summer and was awarded an Envision scholarship and received the financial support of multiple community and business sponsors. She is also a Clemson University Summer Scholar and will attend veterinarian camp at Clemson this summer, as well.

"NYLF Pathways to STEM is a great hands-on 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 Envision. "These students, who have already proven themselves academically, are challenged to work on real-world, student-created projects to bring their studies and career interests to life."

She wants to be a veterinarian and said she is looking forward to gaining the hands-on medical experience the forum provides.

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.