By Carter Adams
My first encounter with Young America’s Foundation was in June 2013 at an event on Capitol Hill. Little did I know that it would be one of the greatest blessings of my life. After that conference I became aware of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), but was not involved much. There was not a chapter at my school and I was new to college. In 2015 that all changed. My junior year of college, I transferred to the University of Central Florida from High Point University and got very involved with YAF.
Attending Foundation conferences has been a highlight of my YAF experiences. I attended my very first YAF conference in Santa Barbara California at the Reagan Ranch Center. That conference ignited a passion for me to fight for our God-given liberties on my campus. Michelle Malkin was a speaker and her passion for free-market economics and American exceptionalism made me want to spread this word on my campus. So after that summer break, I went back to campus charged up to be a fighter for freedom.
At a YAF training seminar during the summer of 2015, I met a YAF intern named Katrina who’s passion for YAF was very inspiring. After understanding how supportive YAF was to her and how they would be towards me, I wanted to do what she did and start my own chapter. I went back to UCF the following fall and began creating UCF’s very first Young Americans for Freedom chapter.
At first I thought nobody else on campus would be interested in joining a YAF chapter, but I was gladly wrong. I found a group of like-minded friends on campus who were also eager to start a conservative club. Once I had a few friends to work with, I began the process of establishing a chapter. The Foundation was there to help me every step of the way. It took some work, but in the end we prevailed and became an official club on campus. I am proud to say I am a founding chair of UCF’s very first YAF chapter.
One of the goals of my chapter, through the help and the support of the Foundation, is to spread conservative ideas through campus activism. One of the activist events my chapter did was build a huge mock-Berlin Wall for Freedom Week 2015. To help explain the purpose of the wall we let students on our free speech lawn come “tear down this wall!” as said by President Ronald Reagan. During the demolition of the wall, we played David Hasselhof’s Looking for Freedom song on a megaphone. Our ruckus drew in many students who were able to help tear down the wall, hear President Reagan’s famous “Tear Down This Wall” speech, and learn how freedom was spread to the communist side of Europe through President Reagan’s fight for Freedom in Eastern Europe.
The goal for our club next semester is to bring a big name speaker to campus. Being at the second largest university in the country, my YAF chapter has great potential to put on a huge event to spread the ideas I believe so strongly in, free-market economics, limited government and a strong national defense.
I am thankful every day for YAF. From the friendships I have made, to the life-long affiliation I plan on having with the Foundation, being a YAFer has truly been one of the greatest blessings of my life.