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  • New Guard Inner
  • By: Grant Wolf

    A Trinity Students with Michael Reagan

    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 history.

    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, 

    "Freedom is 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 free."

    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 defend them.

    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.

    ***

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