By: Grant Wolf
With March only a month away, I excitedly anticipate another
opportunity to attend the spring edition of YAF's High School Conference at the Reagan Ranch. This past October, I had the
distinct pleasure of attending the event for the
2nd time. For three days, I heard from top-notch
activists in the conservative movement about the importance and
benefits of the free market, limited government, low tax rates, and
a multitude of other ideas which have made the American experiment
a great success story.
Arguably the highlight of the conference was the
opportunity to see Rancho del Cielo, Ronald Reagan's ranch.
Everything about him was so evident there: his work ethic, his
sense of humor, style, class…it truly offered insight into the kind
of person President Reagan was.
Hearing from so many wise and experienced individuals really opened
my eyes to the privilege it is to be a citizen of these United
States. I learned how America has championed the freedom of
her people throughout her history, more so than any other nation:
as President Ronald Reagan once called America, "the last, best
hope of man on earth." Two lectures that had a lastingly impact were given by Dr. Burt Folsom, a professor at Hillsdale
College. In the first, he demonstrated how the freedom of
enterprise provides individuals the opportunity to achieve their
goals. In the second lecture, he gave the example of William
Harding and Calvin Coolidge's 1920s tax cuts, which dropped
unemployment from 12.4% to 2.4% within several years, to
demonstrate how low tax rates encourage economic productivity and
ingenuity, pumping life into an economy. I learned so much from Dr.
Folsom about successful economic policy.
One other highlight for me was the level of personal interaction
between the speakers, staff, and the attending students. I
was able to personally ask questions of the speakers, and get to
know both them and the staff members of Young America's Foundation.
By my interactions with Young America's Foundation, which began
with my attendance of the High School Conference, I have been
spurred to activism. Since the conference, YAF has helped me start a Young Americans for Freedom chapter at my high school, to advance
the ideas of conservatism on my campus and in my community. I have
come to realize how much I love this great country, and its
founding principles, and desire to act in defense of them; to be a
patriot and defender of freedom, like so many great men of our
Attending YAF's High School Conference at the Reagan Ranch was a life changing experience. It helped me realize the value and
privilege of the freedoms we as Americans have, but also just how
fragile those freedoms are. As President Reagan said,
never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass
it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for,
protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we
will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's
children what it was once like in the United States where men were
I would highly recommend this event to my fellow young
Americans: we have a duty, as citizens of this republic, to uphold
and defend the freedoms it stands for. The High School Conference at the Reagan Rancg is an incredible, hands-on opportunity to learn about
the importance of these principles, and, more importantly, how to
Grant is a junior at Trinity Classical Academy. He is the founder and chair of Trinity's Young Americans for Freedom chapter.
Registration for YAF's High School Conference at the Reagan Ranch is now open! Register by February 15th to receive the early bird rate of $100 (which includes conference materials, hotel for two nights, and meals). Click here to learn more about the conference.