Chairwoman Krissel Flores started Otay Ranch High School Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) this past August with the determination to accurately and positively portray conservatism on her campus. On December 8, Krissel and her YAF chapter did just that, as they boldly hosted Ben Shapiro to a capacity crowd of over 450 students.
For the first time, Krissel’s peers at Otay Ranch High School were exposed to conservative ideals. All was going well during Shapiro’s speech until a liberal administrator abruptly cut him off half way through the question and answer session because Shapiro’s conservative ideals “crossed the line.” Apparently the administrator deemed students too sensitive to hear Shapiro’s statements about free market principles and economic mobility. Despite an attempt at censorship, Shapiro’s speech continued and Otay Ranch High School YAF prevailed.
For their dedication to the promotion of intellectual diversity on their campus, Otay Ranch High School has been named Young Americans for Freedom Chapter of the Month for December.
The club did a stellar job promoting the event. All YAF members passed out fliers and gave presentations in front of their classes about Shapiro’s speech. Regarding the atmosphere leading up to the event, Krissel stated, “I feel that many on campus did not know what to expect, but I know for sure that many teachers were on edge.” It was evident that the students were excited and open to hearing new ideas.
Krisell says that her chapter invited Shapiro to campus because “in his past speeches he really connected with young individuals.” Her goal was clearly met, evident by the fact that more than half of the students stayed to listen to the rest of Shapiro’s speech, despite being dismissed from the assembly in order to protect their feelings. A majority of students in attendance had their eyes opened to a viewpoint that differed from the liberal ideology imposed upon them daily in the classroom, and some even changed their opinions on issues they were previously misinformed about.
Krissel’s fearless leadership as Chairwoman of Otay Ranch High School YAF is supported by a strong leadership team consisting of Alex Lepe as Vice Chairman, and Gustavo Gonzalez as Secretary.
The spark that lit Otay Ranch High School YAF’s passion for activism was ignited at the The Sharon Statement Revisted: Passing the Torch seminar at Young America’s Foundation Headquarters in Reston, VA. At this program they were inspired by the rich history of Young Americans for Freedom and were determined to carry on the legacy of The Sharon Statement through conservative activism at their school.
In addition to hosting Ben Shapiro, this past semester Otay Ranch High School YAF participated in Freedom Week, commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall, and honoring Veteran’s Day. Members are already planning a strong semester of activism, and are looking forward to attending Young America’s Foundation Nashville Freedom Conference next month.
Congratulations to Otay Ranch High School YAF for being named December’s Chapter of the Month. We can’t wait to see your chapter continue to grow and fearlessly fight for conservatism at your school!
Lauren McCue is Program Officer for Chapter Services at Young America’s Foundation.