In November, Foundation President Ron Robinson received the Annie Taylor Award from the David Horowitz Freedom Center. The annual award is named in honor of schoolteacher Annie Edison Taylor—the first person to survive a trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel—and given to people who exhibit great courage by “going over the ledge when others would be afraid to even go near it.”
The 2017 recipients included Robinson, Fox News’s Jesse Watters, and James Damore.
In his presentation of the award, David Horowitz shared Robinson’s life-long dedication to building Young America’s Foundation into the premiere conservative organization for young people.
“Ron’s organization is today the chief sponsor and funder of conservative speakers who come to college campuses… Just as important, Ron turned his organization into an activist vanguard.” Horowitz told the audience. “In my eyes, Ron Robinson is a revolutionary within the conservative movement who has created its most important youth organization.”
Horowitz also highlighted Young America’s Foundation’s many student activism initiatives: the 9/11: Never Forget project, our work with students on more than 2,000 campuses, the Reagan Ranch project, and YAF’s life-changing conferences and seminars.
Upon receiving the award, Robinson thanked the five “S’s” which have contributed to Young America’s Foundation’s success over the past five decades: our students, speakers, supporters, staff, and his spouse, Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute President Michelle Easton.
He offered remarks on the Foundation’s mission:
Our organization, Young America’s Foundation, has been very much influenced by Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan said there’s a spark in all of us, if struck at just the right age, will light up the rest of your life. We try to ignite that spark in young people around the country.
We do it in part by preserving President Reagan’s western White House, the Reagan Ranch, our National Journalism Center programs, the 9/11 project that he also mentioned, more than 20 conferences and seminars we have every year, but especially through the more than 400 college lectures, high school lectures around the country…
Robinson also discussed the challenges facing young conservatives today, highlighting the increase of leftist obstructions, protests, and disruptions at the Foundation’s campus lectures and events. He noted, “Since last November, in over 400 events around the country, that number has risen almost fourfold [from 12 percent] to 46 percent.”
Concluding, Robinson thanked David Horowitz for all he has done to mentor young people around the country. “He understands thoroughly what Ronald Reagan said time and time again to our national audiences. He said freedom isn’t won at any one moment in time. We must struggle to preserve it every day, and freedom is never more than one generation from extinction.”