Young America’s Foundation congratulates the Harrison High School Young Americans for Freedom (HH YAF) chapter on being selected as the February Chapter of Distinction.

It is all too common for young conservatives to face considerable pushback when taking the initial steps to form a conservative club at their schools. While harassment from fellow students is not unusual, the most common hurdles—and often the most intimidating—come from school administrations themselves. What is unusual is when a school wages a two-year battle with its students to block them from forming a Young Americans for Freedom chapter. This was the case for Harrison High School in New York.

Fortunately, YAF is lucky enough to have a strong group of bold leaders at Harrison High who would not take no as an answer. Lead by Chapter Chairman Luke Wong, HH YAF finally gained recognition after a long and arduous struggle with administrators, and on January 19, HH YAF was able to have its first official meeting. Since then, the chapter organized a virtual trip to President Reagan’s Ranch, Rancho del Cielo, and gathers virtually weekly (per Harrison High School’s restrictions on clubs) to plan their future activism projects.

HH YAF’s perseverance and commitment to bringing conservative ideas to the campus also inspired the greater Harrison community. Not only did Luke receive a wave of supportive emails from peers on campus, but Luke also received congratulatory messages from concerned citizens in the area, some of whom wanted to give donations to support HH YAF’s future work.

Luke summarized the need for every conservative to speak out and undertake the challenge of forming a YAF chapter, “For prospective chairmen of YAF chapters, I would advise them to not give up when they are faced with adversity while attempting to start up their chapter. It’s easy to follow the path of least resistance, but I would challenge prospective YAF chairs who are considering dropping their efforts to start a chapter by asking them, ‘If it’s not you who starts this chapter, then who will it be?’”

National YAF looks forward to seeing HH YAF continue to grow and for the continued growth of YAF in New York.

The following members of HH YAF were also instrumental in the chapter’s success:

  • Gianna Vukel
  • Jake Sarlo
  • Shayna Forgione