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Teen joins D.C. forum


Isaak McLemore, a Sherman County native, will soon head off to a youth leadership forum in Washington, D.C.

17-year-old Isaak McLemore, a junior at Sherman County School, continues to impress his community as he prepares to attend a youth leadership forum in Washington D.C. focusing on national security.

This is not the first time McLemore (formerly Kemp, having recently changed his last name) has participated in this type of national event. He has attended multiple leadership summits, was invited to attend the 2016 Presidential Inauguration, and participated in a training for the Climate Change Reality Leadership Corps in Pittsburgh this last October (for which he was featured in the Chronicle this past December.)

The program McLemore plans to attend in Washington D.C is officially called the National Youth Leadership Forum: National Security – Diplomacy, Intelligence and Defense.

During the six-day program, students will be able to talk directly with security experts and learn strategies through interactive speaking events, crisis simulation and site visits.

“It’s pretty much all about foreign policy and trying to make the world a safe and secure area,” McLemore said. One of the world’s largest problems, he said, is that countries are focused on showcasing power. “I want to go to this and open a discussion about making peace,” he said.

McLemore was invited to attend the forum by a general he had met at another youth conference. He wasn’t intending to attend any more conferences after the climate change training in Pittsburgh, but upon receiving a letter from this general, McLemore decided to go.

He believes he has a unique perspective to bring to the national security forum because he has the drive to solve national issues and has experience that prepared him to talk to leaders now and work towards solutions.

“Trying to think ahead for future generations is important,” he said.

A community campaign, with support from his family, funded the $2,695 cost to attend the forum as well as airfare.

Upon his return, he’ll continue working towards his post-graduate goals: “I want to serve my country in the U.S. Air Force for four years and then go to law school,” he said.


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