Chicago Freedom FAQs October 6 and 7, 2017

→ When should I arrive?

You should arrive on Friday afternoon, October 6, for check-in between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm. The networking reception starts at 6:00 p.m.

→ What time does the conference end?

The conference ends at 5:00 pm on Saturday, October 7. You will check out of your room on Saturday morning and place your luggage in a secure luggage storage room for retrieval at the conclusion of the conference. For those traveling long distances and needing to stay on Saturday night, we have arranged for a block of guest rooms you may reserve at your own expense beginning September 1. More details will be sent via email to accepted students.

For additional questions regarding an extra night, please check here.

→ Where can I find the agenda?

The agenda will be emailed to you in the day or two just before the conference. You will also be provided with a copy in your student materials at check in.

→ What does the conference fee include? 

The $35 conference fee includes Friday night lodging at the Marriott Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile in downtown Chicago, conference tuition, conference materials, dinner on Friday and breakfast and lunch on Saturday.  For those traveling long distances, we have arranged for a block of guest rooms on Saturday night you may reserve at your own expense beginning September 1.

For additional questions regarding an extra night, please check here.

→ Is travel assistance available?

While travel assistance is never guaranteed, Young America’s Foundation will gladly consider all completed requests.

Travel assistance may be available on a case-by-case basis for those with financial need. If you have financial need, please email a brief essay (no more than a page) to travel@yaf.org that includes:

  • Language regarding your financial need
  • What you hope to gain by attending the conference
  • Your travel plans
  • The expected amount of your travel plans and the amount you are requesting. (For example, Expected travel costs from IAD to ORD are $500. I am requesting $200 in assistance.)

We will not consider your request until we receive a completed request.

For those traveling long distances, you may wish to extend your stay. We have arranged for a block of guest rooms you may reserve at your own expense beginning September 1. Travel assistance is available for travel only.  We will not offer financial assistance towards extending your stay.

For additional questions regarding an extra night, please check here.

→ Is tuition assistance available?

Tuition assistance may be available on a case-by-case basis for those with financial need.  If you have financial need, please email a brief essay (no more than a page) to Jolie Ballantyne at jballantyne@yaf.org with some language regarding your financial need and what you hope to gain by attending the conference.  We cannot consider your request until we receive this essay.

→ What are the activities during the conference? 

The event opens with a reception on Friday night, followed by a dinner banquet.   Saturday morning features breakfast and speaker sessions and Saturday afternoon features speaker sessions following lunch.

→ Will I have free time during the conference? 

No, because the event is only a day long. If you wish to tour the area, make your own plans to arrive on Thursday night or stay through Saturday night and Sunday.  Young America’s Foundation only covers your hotel room on Friday night. For those wishing to extend their stay, we have arranged for a block of guest rooms you may reserve at your own expense beginning September 1.

For additional questions regarding an extra night, please check here.

→ What are the hotel arrangements on Friday night?

You will be rooming with one person of the same sex.  Please request your roommate on your application, but realize that we cannot guarantee your requested roommates.   We will do our best to accommodate your preferences.   If you want to make your own arrangements for your own room, you need to notify Young America’s Foundation by 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, September 1, or you will be liable for any costs associated with the room you do not use.

Can I get my own room at the Chicago Marriott Magnificent Mile?  

Yes, you may pay for your own room and make a reservation directly by calling (312) 836-0100You MUST notify Jolie Ballantyne at jballantyne@yaf.org that you are making your own arrangements/wish not to be on the group rooming list or you will be charged for the unused room.

Additionally, if you are coming in early or wishing to stay an extra night, you can use this link here starting September 1 to get YAF’s group rate. You MUST tell us if you are staying an extra night or if you are booking your own hotel for just Friday night.

→ How many students are expected at this conference? 

More than 200 students are expected to attend the conference from around the Midwest and across the country.  Young America’s Foundation supporters will be invited to participate in some of the sessions along with students.

→ Are high school students allowed to attend? 

Yes, a limited number of outstanding high school students will be admitted to attend the conference, but you must have your parents’ consent and they must sign a liability waiver.  Parents are warned that there will likely be a college-like atmosphere at the event. High school students must be in their assigned room by 10:00 p.m., and room checks will be conducted by Foundation staff.

→ What is the atmosphere like at the conference? 

The atmosphere of this conference is similar to a normal college or university.   As such, there may be drinking or smoking by those obeying all applicable local and hotel regulations.   Anyone not obeying the law may be prosecuted by local police and subject to removal from the conference at his own expense.

→ If traveling via airplane, to which airport do I fly?

The closest airport is the Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW). Students can also find flights into Chicago O’Hare (ORD).

→ How will I get to and from the airport and the conference? 

Midway is about 12 miles (about 20 minutes) from the conference hotel.  Estimated Uber fare is $25 each way.  O’Hare is about 15 miles (30 minutes) from the hotel. Estimated Uber fare is $45 each way.  However, students may take advantage of the Chicago “L”, the public transit train system, which is only $5.00 each way and drops off near the hotel.  The closest station is the Grand Avenue and State Street station on the Red line.

→ What is the dress code for this conference?

You need to wear business professional dress to the dinner banquet on Friday night and business casual clothing during the Saturday sessions. Denim is not allowed. Ladies should ensure that dresses or skirts are of an appropriate length.

→ What are the terms and conditions of the conference?

a) I understand that I am applying for a limited amount of space at this conference and that my application is subject to confirmation.  I will be notified within three weeks of submitting my application whether I have been accepted to the conference.  In the event I have not been accepted, my charge will be refunded by a check mailed to the address provided when I registered.

b) I must attend all sessions of the conference.  If I do not attend all functions, I will be charged the full cost of the conference and/or event(s), including the hotel, food, and conference costs, which total $1,500 per attendee.

c) Except in case of emergency, I must notify Young America’s Foundation prior to the start of the program of my inability to attend, or I will be charged the supplemental fee since it is too late to give my spot to another student.

d) I understand that the conference fee is not refundable if I cancel my participation after September 29, 2017.

e) I understand I will be assigned roommates for the conference. I may request preferred roommates of the same sex, but there is a chance I may not be able to room with them.

f) I agree to abide by all rules and instructions of Young America’s Foundation and to obey all laws.  I agree to notify Young America’s Foundation’s staff immediately if a problem arises during the conference.

g) I understand that YAF will be adding my email address to its email list for updates for this conference and notifications of future events.

h) Young America’s Foundation uses real photos, videos, and quotes from students for promotional purposes and to advance its mission. By attending this program, I consent to the use of my photo, written evaluation statements, and video in any Young America’s Foundation materials.

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