AOC students to host national leadership conference

Press release

News release 

The Academy of the Canyons is gearing up to host the Middle College National Conference for Student Leaders this summer, marking the first in-person national conference since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

From Wednesday onward, approximately 20 students from middle colleges across the United States will convene at the College of the Canyons University Center to build connections and tackle community issues through innovative projects. This is a completely student-created and facilitated conference, led by Academy of the Canyons student leaders. 

Middle college high schools, an educational model found in only about 40 locations nationwide, offer students the opportunity to simultaneously take college and high school courses, earning college credits while working toward their high school diploma. These students live in a dual environment, immersing themselves fully as both college and high school students.   

The five-day conference will provide a platform for students to collaborate and create community-based projects aimed at addressing real-world problems. These projects have already proven successful in various regions, according to a statement released by Academy of the Canyons.  

For instance, students from Flint, Michigan designed a project to aid their community in addressing the water crisis. In New York, students devised a program to support and provide resources for unhoused youth attending local community colleges. Meanwhile, students from the Academy of the Canyons established a pen pal program with a senior home, forging meaningful relationships with isolated seniors in their community, the release said. 

In addition to collaborating on new projects, students from around the nation will contribute to a unifying art project during the conference. They will collectively create a collage and tile mosaic that embodies the conference’s theme of “Building Bridges,” symbolizing the connections they are building both within their communities and among themselves. 

In partnership with the John Wooden Leadership Board at UCLA, students will receive free leadership training on the first day of the conference.  

For more information about the Middle College National Conference and its mission, visit 

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