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     Gab YAF PNGGabriella Morrongiello, Oregon State University

    It has been almost a year since I first became involved with Young America's Foundation. Unbeknownst to me, last summer my mother signed me up for the annual National Conservative StudentConference (NCSC). When the conference began, I was a cynical college student who thought I had it all figured out. Four days later, after having listened to a variety of iconic figures in the conservative movement speak on free enterprise, morality, and individual responsibility, I had been revolutionized into a young activist with an unwavering devotion to advancing the Conservative Movement.  

    I attend Oregon State, a public university on the "left coast," as John Gizzi likes to say. Liberal professors have permeated OSU's classrooms. Removing campus news bins containing a conservative student publication and failing to offset the vast amount of liberal speakers brought to campus with conservative speakers from the right are just a few examples of the intolerance of opinion my school administrators have displayed.

    A month after returning home from NCSC, I began my sophomore year at OSU where I recruited a few like-minded friends and established a Young Americans for Freedom chapter. I was immediately shocked with the outpouring of support I received from members of YAF. Educational pamphlets, buttons, posters and films were sent to me. It was everything I needed to launch my chapter and keep students interested. I was flown out to the Reagan RanchCenter for a weekend of activism training and consultation with other YAF chapter chairs. Periodically, YAF program director Kate Cortes would check in with me and see how things were going on campus. Just a few weeks ago I received a new box full of fresh pamphlets.

    I am continuously amazed with this organization's generosity and the time and effort they spend on helping us activists succeed. Additionally, I've been amazed at the amount of opportunities I've encountered due to my affiliation with YAF. From interning with the National Journalism Center to meeting with congressmen in D.C., I owe it all to my involvement with this organization.

    Leading my YAF chapter has been a rewarding experience not just to me, but to my peers as well. It has allowed me to stand up to the shameful indoctrination on my campus while simultaneously encouraging other students to do the same. When the going gets tough, the tough get going and that is exactly what I see myself and fellow YAF chapter chairs doing at college campuses today. We are fighting to restore this great country and the responses I've received as a YAF chapter chair continue to give me hope and inspire my contributions to the conservative movement.   [back]


     Spencer YAF PNG

    Spencer Brown, Regent University

    Both Young America's Foundation and Young Americans for Freedom have given me incredible opportunities this past year. 


    I started my freshman year at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. As someone who had been moderately involved in conservative politics and activism in high school, I was looking for new opportunities to continue working to advance conservative principles. A friend and fellow activist recommended YAF to me, and I decided to get involved. There wasn't a Young Americans forFreedom chapter at Regent University, so I filed the appropriate paperwork with the University, and got started with YAF-a move I do not regret.

    After starting my chapter, the great people at YAF's headquarters were incredibly helpful with any questions I had, or activism initiatives I wanted to hold on campus. They first helped with the 9/11 Never Forget Project by providing my group and me with American flags, "Never Forget" pins, and flyers to raise awareness of a number of other YAF opportunities. In February, I attended my first YAF conference, the "Great Beginnings" seminar, at the Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara, California. I, along with a few dozen other young conservative activists, heard from leaders in the Conservative Movement, and had the opportunity to visit President Reagan's Rancho del Cielo. I learned new ways to recruit students, raise awareness of important issues, and gave me new tools to use in my role as chair of my own chapter. 

    Whether you're a high school or a college student, and regardless of your amount of experience in the Conservative Movement, Young America's Foundation and Young Americans for Freedom can help you make a difference in your community, give you incredible opportunities to meet heroes of the conservative movement, and become an important voice for conservatism on your campus and in your community.  [back]


    Kathleen YAF PNGKathleen D'Urso, Texas Christian University

    Since becoming involved with the Young America's Foundation last year, I never could have imagined the amount of opportunities and privileges that would come my way.  After coming across the YAF website and seeing the important role the Foundation has in the Conservative Movement, I was immediately drawn to the many student opportunities.  I read about several peers who were making a difference on their campuses and in their communities, inspiring me to bring a YAF chapter to my campus at Texas Christian University.

    Starting a YAF chapter at my school has brought upon many career benefits, including internships and leadership scholarships.  However, while YAF has allowed me to immensely further my career goals in just one year, the greatest gain that has come from my time with YAF are the friendships and connections I have made, as well as the ability to engage with, and make a difference in my community.

    This past April, I had the privilege of attending the Club 100 Retreat, where I met leaders within the Foundation, Conservative Movement and fellow YAF chairmen.  From listening to and hanging out with speakers like Alex Marlow of and Ann McElhinney, producer of the film FrackNation, to horseback riding in the California mountains with fellow chairmen and getting a personal tour of the Reagan Ranch, the opportunity to attend YAF conferences like Club 100 is an experience that I will never forget.  YAF holds many conferences throughout the year that are not only a blast to attend, but also are a great way to make lifelong connections and friendships.

    In addition to the many benefits that come along with attending conferences, getting involved with YAF has allowed me to interact with, and make a meaningful difference in my community.  My favorite YAF campus initiative is the 9/11 Never ForgetProject.  Although our chapter was just starting out and had no funding, YAF went above and beyond to help us successfully execute the event.  Planting 2,977 flags on campus representing each person killed in the terrorist attacks brought awareness on campus and in the Dallas/Fort Worth area about the importance of remembering 9/11 in our history.  The local CBS affiliate and the Fort Worth Star Telegram covered the event.

    Although attending conferences and being a campus activist are certainly highlights of my time with YAF, the benefits do not end there.  Students who become involved with YAF will find that all the opportunities go far beyond what they could ever expect, and in ways that are unique to each person.  I hope to remain involved with YAF even after graduation and am excited for future students thinking about having a role in the Conservative Movement through YAF.  [back]


    Kris YAF PNG KristopherDel Campo, DePaul University 

    Being the founding chairman of a YAF chapter has been both an amazing experience and a blessing for me. From attending conferences put on by Young America's Foundation and exploring the Reagan Ranch, my devotion to the conservative movement has increased day by day.  Without YAF's help to promote conservative values to college students around the nation, many students wouldn't be afforded both sides of the ideological argument.  Young America's Foundation and the Reagan Ranch Center have help educate our nation's youth to bring the fight of conservatism to their high school and college campuses.  [back]



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     Nick James, Clemson University

    While the primary purpose of chairing the Clemson University Young Americans for Freedom chapter is to promote conservative ideals on campus, the position has allowed me to do so much more.  As chairman, I have had the opportunity to learn many important attributes, including how to handle the media, crisis management, and organizational skills. Leading my YAF chapter has given me a different prospective of the college experience.  These 4 years are not just a chance to show those in academia that I can succeed. Leading my chapter has and continues to teach me valuable, real-world lessons that no lecture could ever begin to encompass. [back]


    Grant YAF PNGGrant Strobl, Grosse Pointe North High School

    Starting a high school chapter of Young Americans for Freedom expanded my network to fellow students across the country, provided leadership experience that is recognized by my community, and helped shape my career path. This experience that Young Americans for Freedom and Young America's Foundation provided me helped me land a job with a local congressional candidate, get appointed to a local municipal committee, get connections in local and state government, and receive a mayoral proclamation. Among the many activism and service projects that I have lead at my school include: the 9/11 Never Forget Project; the Respect All Women campaign, which was covered by, Yahoo!, and the Daily Caller; Christmas celebration with Christmas trees placed throughout the school; fundraising for our troops; and bringing a bus-load of students to one of Young America's Foundation's regional conference. The experience, connections, opportunities, and skills that starting a chapter of Young Americans for Freedom provides are endless—start a YAF chapter today! [back]



    Stephan YAF PNGStephan Pitts, Mississippi College

    When I first got involved with Young Americans for Freedom, I had no idea how much they would do to help me succeed on my campus and in the conservative movement.  

    In less than one year of active involvement with YAF, I went from being a guy who liked aggravating liberals on Facebook to taking a group of my peers to CPAC, speaking to Young America's Foundation's top supporters at their annual gathering, and being asked to contribute to several different conservative publications.  I would like to claim all of these successes as my own, but without YAF, none of them would have been possible.  

    Starting a YAF chapter literally changed my outlook on the future.  It showed me that with a little hard work and determination you can make a difference at your school, in your state, and nationally.  Young Americans for Freedom has opened doors for me that I would have never thought possible.  I'm proud of what I've been able to accomplish with YAF and I look forward to what else is in store. [back]



     Nate B No NameNathan Brand, Hillsdale College

    Since high school, I have been blessed to have been involved with Young America’s Foundation. The Foundation has allowed me to have a greater influence with my peers, to grow as a leader, and to build friendships with students and conservative leaders across the nation. More than anything though, my time with Young America’s Foundation has given me great purpose for my time in college.

    I had no idea what to expect when I walked into my first conference as a sophomore in high school. A friend and frequent Foundation speaker, Kirby Wilbur, told me about the Young America’s Foundation National High School Leadership Conference. He told me that it was an awesome conservative conference full of like-minded students from all over the country. I was sold! With not knowing what to anticipate, I remember splurging at Nordstrom to buy a sport coat for the conference, telling the salesman “I might be meeting the President.” Although he set me up with a very nice sports coat, I never did meet the President. Instead, I got to engage first-hand with dozens of conservative leaders and make friendships that have lasted throughout the years! That was the first of the ten Foundation conferences I have been to since getting involved.

    I knew I was a conservative before I attended any of the Foundation conferences, but the conferences have turned me from a conservative on the side-lines to a conservative in the game.

    During my senior year of high school, I organized the 9/11: Never Forget Project. The experience of putting together the event and watching the impact it had on people in my community was amazing! Along with the thousands of people who saw the flag display, two local papers ran stories on my project and the local FOX TV affiliate ran a segment on it. This was just the start of my long and fruitful journey with the Foundation.

    After high school, I went on to attend Hillsdale College in Michigan. Looking to stay in the political arena, I quickly realized none of the groups on campus were truly active or looking to make a real difference in the lives of their peers. Fortunately, I knew about a fantasti
    c organization that had the resources and tools to help me make an impact on my campus: Young Americans for Freedom, the Foundation’s chapter affiliate.

    Hillsdale College is different than any other college in the country. We are continually ranked as one of the most conservative schools in the country. Just to give you an idea of what that means, we have a statue of Ronald Reagan and an even bigger statue of
    Margaret Thatcher in the quad on our campus. So our club’s purpose was not about taking on a liberal campus and liberal administrators, but rather fighting student apathy.

    I started the Hillsdale Young Americans for Freedom chapter with the help of just a couple of friends. Starting with no money and very few members, we had a long way to go to make a real impact. Thanks to the generous support of the Foundation, our YAF chapter was able to bring syndicated talk show host Michael Medved to campus for our first event. The event turned out over 200 people, more than one tenth of our campus! Next thing you know, Hillsdale YAF became the coolest club on campus.

    Since our club’s founding, we have done numerous activist events including No More Che Day, Freedom Week, National School Choice Week, and many more events. Among them, we brought author and columnist Katie Pavlich to campus to speak about the importance of the 2nd Amendment. We were also fortunate enough to take her out to our school’s gun range.

    With every event we have hosted, the Foundation has been at our side supporting our chapter. From boxes of posters and banners to phone calls with Young Americans for Freedom Executive Director Patrick Coyle, the Foundation has given us their unwavering support. With the Foundation’s resources, being a conservative activist has never been easier.

    Our YAF chapter has opened doors for many of my fellow Hillsdale YAF peers. Because of their work on spreading the conservative message, Hillsdale YAF members have landed internships with congressmen, the NRA, Conservative Movement organizations, and even with Young America’s Foundation. Along with opportunities opened up outside of campus, students have been able to network with conservative leaders that will continue to provide opportunities for years to come.

    I would strongly encourage any conservative student to start a YAF chapter on their college campus. I guarantee it will be personally rewarding and you will be amazed by the impact you will have on your peers. So get off the sideline, get your butt off the bench, and start promoting the conservative cause, because our generation is the best hope of taking back our college campuses and taking back our country




    John Diggiacobbe John Digiacobbe, Highland High School

    I first heard about Young America's Foundation my freshman year of high school. At the time, I was fairly new to the Conservative Movement and my father suggested that it would be a good idea for me to get involved. Nearly a year later, I took the initiative to start my own Young Americans for Freedom chapter, which is the Foundation's chapter affiliate. It was truly one of the best decisions I have ever made. The chapter started out small, but after two years of hard work we have been steadily growing to over 40 active members.

    During my junior year of high school, I helped organize projects such as the 9/11: Never Forget Project, Freedom Week, and the GPA Redistribution video contest. Our chapter gained recognition school wide and we are now acknowledged as an official club on campus.

    YAF has shaped my high school career in many ways. First off, it has enabled me to maximize my leadership skills and potential when handling a chapter. Secondly, YAF has immensely helped to cement my views on the conservative ideology. In these past few years I have gained so much knowledge on individual liberty, free enterprise, moral integrity, and the fundamental principles that have made this country strong. The various conferences that are held throughout the year have allowed me to meet like-minded individuals and form lifelong friendships. The speakers at these events have inspired me, while providing me with droves of information to combat the left.

    Without YAF, I would not have had the immense amount opportunities I've had thus far. I plan to continue with the organization through college and hopefully join or start another chapter. My goal is to continue to encourage young people to take a stand in their community and not be afraid to speak up on conservative values. I am so thankful I got involved with YAF and I can't wait to see what the future has in store!  [back


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