Washington based programs work. Graduates of comparable programs who come to Washington from Northern Ireland or South Africa readily testify that, regardless of program type, their Washington experience had a lasting impact on their professional skills. It advanced their careers, and inspired them to go home and continue working together. Those programs which have taken time to track their graduates know that they are now working in key roles in politics, business and in the community, and that the tradition of collaboration continues.
- Short Term: The short term goals of the program are achieved if participants can demonstrate improvement in their personal and professional skills, if they successfully complete their internship assignments, and are full participants in the team and host family experience. Success also means they have discovered the power of their own leadership story to move both American audiences and their peers. The program gathers continuous assessments from host families, intern supervisors and the participants themselves to monitor progress. Each summer ends with a comprehensive, day long program of evaluation, feedback and recommendations for next year’s program.
- Long Term: NSL knows that the Washington experience is only the beginning of the new story. The real test of success is how it has affected the student in five or ten years’ time. Was it life-changing? Was it taken up into the developing storyline of their lives as an important turning point? NSL remains in contact with every graduate and stays informed about their career paths and history of service, and continues to weave the web of connection using the latest social networking technologies such as Facebook and Twitter. The program also continually invites its alumni to contribute to NSL through mentoring its latest team of participants and inviting some to return the following year as Management Team.
The Right Story for Washington DC to be Hearing: Washington is accustomed to the voices of the senior political leaders from the Middle East speaking to American policy makers, but rarely do they hear the testimony of the younger generation who will ultimately have to take responsibility for the kind of future they want their own children to enjoy. NSL is committed to ensuring that Washington finally hears these voices.