YAFCon Day 1:

Hi! My name is Hana Thomas and I’m the chairwoman of Loyola Marymount University’s YAF chapter. Today was the first day of conservative Christmas- the National Conservative Student Conference.

I started off today by arriving in DC and connecting with friends from my chapter and others across the country. For our first dinner banquet, we heard from YAF President-Elect, Governor Scott Walker. I was fortunate enough to be able to give the invocation before the meal this year.

Scott Walker fired us up for the rest of the conference. He talked to us about valuing America, and came up with great metaphors and analogies on how to explain conservative ideas to people who are not passionate about politics.

He summed up the difference between conservatives and those on the Left in a succinct, yet powerful phrase: “We believe in the individual; they believe in the government. That’s the difference.”

What was inspiring to us all, was his enthusiasm about America, YAF, and the future of young people. I had never heard him speak before, and I was impressed with how articulate and funny he was. He gave an important balance of humor and inspiration.

At the end of the night, I went on a monument tour. We were able to see the White House, Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. I was able to meet people from other chapters and reconnect with members of my own.

YAF has given me the opportunity to meet people from across the country who believe in the same principles that I do. I have made life-long friends and memories. YAF has given me the opportunity to meet and hear from speakers who are the leading fighters in the Conservative Movement. I am so excited for the rest of the conference, especially for meeting new friends and hearing from speakers I admire.

Hana Thomas is a senior at Loyola Marymount University and the chairwoman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter.