Last week, over 400 student activists from Young Americans for
Freedom chapters and other conservative student groups around the
country gathered on the campus of George Washington University to
attend Young America's Foundation's 36th National
Conservative Student Conference (NCSC), an annual five-day program
that educates and inspires young people to bravely promote
freedom on their college campuses.
The attendees represented 41 states and 126 different colleges
and universities, with the majority of them being newcomers to a Young America's Foundation program.
As the premier conference for conservative youth, NCSC 2014
provided students with an excellent line-up of both principled
leaders and courageous intellectuals, including Senators Ted Cruz
and Tim Scott; Speaker Newt Gingrich; economists Dr. Art Laffer,
Dr. Walter Williams, and Stephen Moore; Heritage Foundation
president Jim DeMint; Herman Cain; Dr. Robbie George and Dr. Burt
Fulsom; and many, many others. Students were not only able to
absorb the policy and philosophical lectures, but they were also
able to meet and engage with the speakers afterwards. Attendees
gained knowledge on various topics, including economics, foreign
policy, immigration, and abortion, among others.
Many of the speeches were streamed online, with the lectures
focusing on economics being featured as part of Young America's
Foundation's Free Enterprise 101 online course. Remote viewers were
also able to submit questions online in order to enjoy an
interactive viewing experience.
The speakers focused on the critical importance of young people
in channeling their energy to return America to its founding
In his speech on leadership, Senator Cruz inspired students,
arguing, "Every significant change, almost without exception, in
human history, came from young people." He added when discussing
the national debt and the increasingly unstable global environment,
"Don't think this is an issue for your parents to worry about, or
for you to worry about in 10 or 20 years. This is your future."
On Wednesday night, attendees came together at the Washington
Court Hotel for an exciting Reagan Banquet, which featured rising
conservative star Senator Tim Scott. In an engaging speech about
family values and personal responsibility, the senator laid out the
case for why investment in oneself and the wherewithal to remain
principled despite facing overwhelming challenges are the best
solutions to overcoming poverty.
Savanna Wierenga, chairwoman of the Hillsdale College Young
Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter, stated after hearing the range
of speeches, "The messages that I've heard from numerous speakers
have truly impacted and inspired me to go out and be proactive
about fighting for and defending my constitutional freedoms as an
With an increase in the number of attendees this year from
around the country, it is clear that students are playing a
critical role in growing the Conservative Movement. Big
government's harmful implications have compelled young people to
join the fight to advocate for freedom.
Ryan Pearsall, a student at Stony Brook University, summed up
his time at the conference with these words: "The experience and
information I have gained this week in Washington, D.C. will stick
with me forever."
As NCSC 2014 came to a close, inspired students joined together
in a spontaneous chant of "USA, USA, USA!" Young America's
Foundation is proud to educate and train these young patriots who
are leading their generation into a brighter future.
Raj Kannappan is the Program Officer for Young Americans for