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The National Rifle Association invites high school sophomores and juniors across the United States to apply for the 2019 National NRA Youth Education Summit (Y.E.S.)—an expenses-paid, weeklong educational experience in Washington, D.C.

With the success of offering two sessions of Y.E.S. for the first time in 2018, the NRA will once again offer two sessions next year. Session one will take place July 8-14, 2019, and session two will be held July 22-28, 2019. Attendees will compete for up to $50,000 in college scholarships through participation in the program’s events and activities. Applications will open next week and must be postmarked by Friday, January 25, 2019.

Y.E.S. develops the next generation of leaders by encouraging them to become active citizens in their local communities and beyond. Students learn about the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the federal government, and the importance of engaging in civic affairs. Competitive team debates and casual current event discussions highlight the diverse backgrounds and beliefs of participants while fostering fellowship and respect. The program’s nonstop agenda also includes exciting activities and opportunities. Some of these include visiting NRA headquarters and touring historic sites and monuments in the D.C. area while reflecting on the dedicated service of the nation’s military.

“The Y.E.S. program is a weeklong marathon of life-changing experiences,” said former Y.E.S. participant Aiden Thomson from Tennessee. “You see the most important relics of America’s history, its most iconic government buildings, and make lot of friends along the way. You meet likeminded people from all over the country, and you learn that there are a million different viewpoints to see. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance that you need to take if you love American history, culture, people, and/or politics.”

During each session attendees will have the chance to compete for college scholarships based on their leadership skills, performances in debates and participation in current events discussions. Students may then compete for an additional $25,000 in scholarships after the summit by sharing their experiences with their communities. Thanks to Friends of NRA fundraising and grants provided by The NRA Foundation, more than $600,000 in scholarships have been awarded since the creation of Y.E.S. in 1996.

Entry into the summit requires submission of a completed application form, a high school transcript, a three-page essay on the Second Amendment, a one-page personal statement and three letters of recommendation. Those interested must have their application postmarked no later than Friday, January 25, 2019.

For additional information on the 2019 NRA Youth Education Summit and how to apply, please visit yes.nra.org/application or call (703) 267-1351.

Photos credit NRA