Conferences & Seminars

American Exceptionalism | Dixon, Illinois

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Event Overview

American Exceptionalism: The Education of Ronald Reagan & the Enduring Promise of the American Dream

The Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home • Dixon, Illinois • July 22-23, 2021

Young America’s Foundation is thrilled to announce its inaugural high school program at the newly acquired Reagan Boyhood Home in Dixon, Illinois!

This two-day program will give high school students an insight into the people, places, and ideas that shaped our 40th President as a young man, allowing them to better understand why and how Ronald Reagan changed the country and the world and how they can do the same. Key values, such as faith, patriotism, humility, perseverance, optimism, and hard work were instilled in Ronald Reagan as a boy and shaped his vision of what America was, is, and could be –a “Shining City on a Hill."

Today, young people are taught that America is the exact opposite –a place of racism, oppression, and limited opportunity– and that our most important systems and institutions– the Constitution, free enterprise, free speech, and religious liberty among them – are simply instruments of this oppression. This program will help students grapple with important questions about American identity and better equip them to understand and defend the principles of freedom.

Throughout this program, students will hear from some of the Conservative Movement’s brightest minds, be inspired by their stories and insights, meet like-minded peers from across the country, receive invaluable resources, and tour the charming Midwest home and town that built young Ronald Reagan.

TUITION: Tuition for this program is only $25 and includes one night in the hotel, conference tuition, materials, and meals from Thursday lunch through Friday dinner.

TUITION ASSISTANCE:  Tuition assistance may be available on a case-by-case basis for those with demonstrable financial need. If you have financial need, please email a brief essay (no more than a page) to Jolie Ballantyne at with some language regarding your financial need. We cannot consider your request until we receive this essay.

TRAVEL ASSISTANCE:  Tavel assistance may be available on a case-by-case basis for those with demonstrable financial need. Please email a brief essay (no more than a page) to that includes:

  • Language regarding your financial need
  • What you hope to gain by attending the conference
  • Your travel plans
  • The expected amount of your travel plans and the amount you are requesting. (For example, expected travel costs from LAX to ORD $500. I am requesting $200 in assistance.)

We will not consider your request until we receive this completed essay. Please note that travel assistance is not guaranteed and is allocated on a case-by-case basis. Incomplete essays will not be considered. Travel assistance essays are due no later than June 25, 2021, but are issued first come first served.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: Download all the details here.


Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home
816 S Hennepin Ave
Dixon, IL 61021

Michael Reagan

Author, Speaker, Radio Talk Show Host and Chairman of The Reagan Group

Michael is the son of former President Ronald Reagan and Academy Award Winning Actress Jane Wyman. He authored many successful books including his best-selling autobiography On the Outside Looking In and The Common Sense of An Uncommon Man: The Wit, Wisdom and Eternal Optimism of Ronald Reagan. His most recent book Twice Adopted is based…

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Rebecca Kleefisch

President and Founder of the 1848 Project, Inc.

Rebecca Kleefisch is the President and Founder of the 1848 Project, Inc. A “recovering journalist,” Rebecca began her career working as a reporter for WIFR-TV in Rockford after graduating from the University of Wisconsin. Soon after, she became a reporter and then news anchor for WISN-TV in Milwaukee, where she worked until starting her own…

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Governor Scott Walker

President of Young America’s Foundation and 45th Governor of Wisconsin

Governor Scott Walker was raised with a heart for public service, patriotism, and hard work. He moved to the small town of Delavan, Wisconsin, when he was in third grade. There, his father was a minister and his mother worked part time as a bookkeeper and secretary. Scott was active in school, sports, church, Scouts, and American Legion’s Badger Boys State and Boys…

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Peggy Grande

Author and Specialty Project Consultant Executive Assistant to President Ronald Reagan 1989 - 1999

President Ronald Reagan chose Peggy Grande to work at his side for 10 years, and together they created a powerful partnership. Serving as his post-presidency Executive Assistant, Peggy was the liaison between Ronald Reagan personally and his staff, the public, local dignitaries and world leaders. She ensured that his events, travel, personal and political relationships and day…

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Jake Jacobs

Author and Host of the Jake Jacobs Show

Dr. Jake Jacobs is the host of the Jake Jacobs Show and the author of Mobocracy: The Cultural and Political War to Destroy Our Republic under God, Mother Should I Trust the Government: The Making and Keeping of our American Republic and his latest work MOB RULE: Unmasking the Radical Leftists at Our Doorsteps. Jake has degrees in American History…

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Evelyn Sanguinetti

47th Lieutenant Governor of Illinois 2015-2019

Evelyn Sanguinetti is an American attorney and human rights advocate who served as the 47th Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, becoming the first Latina Lieutenant Governor in the United States. She currently serves as the Executive Director of HOPE Fair Housing Center. In her 20+ years in public service, Evelyn has earned a reputation of being…

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Burt Folsom

Distinguished Fellow at Hillsdale College, Historian and Author

“Free markets are in short supply. I enjoy studying free markets and how they work.” Historian Burt Folsom of Hillsdale College is the longest serving faculty member of Young America’s Foundation’s student programs, where he consistently receives top ratings from the young people he reaches at each YAF event. Dr. Folsom is a native of…

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