All 3 of mine have been nominated. Once you get on their list, you will get multiple mailings and “invitations” from them for years to come.
IMO, they are rather expensive. Our kids have taken similar trips offered through their own school for significantly less cost. Plus our kids then knew who they were traveling with and we knew the chaperones (current teachers), so we all felt far more comfortable with the situation.
My son has been nominated for the past three years. IMO it’s simply too expensive. We checked into the scholarship program, which really wasn’t much help…plus the deadline came up 1 WEEK after we got the initital invitation. Based on what we saw for scholarship requirements, it appeared to be a trip for those with money, rather than a genuine invitation based on leadership. We decided against it and will save our money for a week-long camp at the Naval Academy next summer.
I participated in National Youth Leadership Forum as well as Girls State. Both were well worth the money (I paid it by myself though, so my parents didn’t have to worry about it). I still keep in touch with friends I made when I was on those trips (many of the girls I met at Girls State also ended up going to college with me), and the experience in general just really provided me with opportunities that I don’t think I would’ve had otherwise. I don’t know anything about CYLC, but people who I’ve talked to who have attended it have also said that they came back with wonderful memories.