Some in the Conservative Movement claim they are the first ones to recruit students to our cause, but we know that our Movement has been built upon a rich history filled with charismatic young leaders carrying freedom’s principles forward. Thanks to the decades of bold and selfless activism on the part of young conservatives, today’s Movement has a bright future.
From William F. Buckley Jr., Barry Goldwater, and Ronald Reagan to today’s conservative thought leaders such as Ben Shapiro and Christina Hoff Sommers, YAF has been involved in the Movement from its earliest days. Today, we continue to reach thousands of young people around the country each week with our campus lecture program, activism initiatives, and breakthrough conferences and seminars.
YAF’s campus events reach broad audiences of young people, and these programs are not just preaching to the choir. They often expose students to conservative ideas for the first time. But don’t take our word for it. Read what one student from Cornell was spurred to write us after a YAF campus lecture:
“I want to extend my sincere gratitude to YAF for making the effort to bring Mr. Santorum to our campus. The speech infused some much needed, but seldom seen, intellectual diversity into our campus life. I plead that you continue to work to bring conservative voices to our campus… your work is supremely worthwhile.”
These events feature the stars of the Movement, including Dinesh D’Souza, Lt. Col. Allen West, Ben Shapiro, Steve Forbes, and more than 80 other leaders who energize conservative clubs, such as our growing and thriving Young Americans for Freedom chapters. Many of our student leaders express how hosting a speaker through the Foundation greatly enhances their club:
“Bringing a speaker was a defining moment of our chapter’s activism. We had around 1,000 students attend the event and another 1,000 outside waiting to hear from the first conservative speaker in almost five years at the University of Florida. The number of students who thanked our chapter showed how incredible it is to bring a speaker. If you want to directly change the Left’s campus culture and give a voice to conservative students, bringing a speaker through Young America’s Foundation is by far the best way!”
“Hosting Ben Shapiro kick-started my Young Americans for Freedom chapter at UW-Madison. My chapter’s dramatic growth made us the most active conservative organization at my university and caught the attention of conservative students at nearby schools who were inspired to start their own YAF chapter. Professors, organizations, and students now recognize our chapter and understand our mission: to strengthen the conservative voice at UW-Madison. YAF chapters around the country can rely on speaking events to boost their name around campus and gain new members, it worked for us!”
Of course, many of our events are streamed live, boosting our reach nationwide. Last year alone, YAF’s videos were viewed more than 12 million times.
And we are prepping even more students to bring conservatism to their campuses this fall.
This week, we will welcome the largest-ever group of students to Young America’s Foundation’s High School Conference at the Reagan Ranch. More than 90% of the registrants are attending their first conservative conference, and these students will undoubtably leave ready to be more active on campus.
Indeed, as the New York Times reported, YAF is “the conservative force” that provides students with dynamic speakers, resources, and initiatives to change their campuses.