The program challenges participants to find and then learn how to compellingly tell a new story about their dreams for the future. This is a continuous narrative process that begins early on with students sharing their stories in their application forms, at their selection interviews and the team orientation. Then, over the summer, they test the stories of their new experiences with their peers and witness to what’s changing through publicly accessible learning journals posted regularly on the program website. The program then invites critical policy leaders in Washington to hear and support these new voices in more formal settings. This is what is called their ‘Leadership Moment’ which is five minutes of prime time where, away from the conflict zone, the interns give voice to their own story of how they see the road ahead, including what role America and NSL can play. The audience to these events includes senior members of Congress, the Diplomatic Corps, prominent Business leaders and the wider NSL support network
Washington D.C. is very 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 Washington hears these voices. The benefit will be mutual as the program fosters among its interns a deeper and more nuanced understanding of America, and the reasons for its deep desire for the conflict to be solved.