By: Emma Parker

500+ students. 30+ speakers. 5 days. One Goal: Freedom.

Young America’s Foundation’s 43rd National Conservative Student Conference was truly a week to remember, with experiences such as Senator Ted Cruz jumping off stage to take selfies with students, Ben Shapiro meeting each participant, and Congresswoman Kat Cammack knowing every word while singing karaoke. After a year of being locked down, NCSC was exactly what conservative activists needed before heading back to campus this fall.

Last week, more than 500 participants gathered in Houston, Texas to hear from 30 of the biggest names in the Conservative Movement. Speakers left students with the tools they need to fight for freedom on their campuses.

The conference kicked off Monday night with Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro giving his first live speech since lockdown. He walked students through why and how leftists are winning on campus, and how conservatives can fight back. Following his speech, every student had the opportunity to meet and take a photo with him.

Tuesday morning students heard from Congressman Kevin Brady of Texas’s 8th congressional district regarding President Reagan’s tax reforms and his work in the House Ways & Means Committee.

Andy Pudzer spoke about the American Dream, and warned students not to be jealous of people with wealth, but rather adopt an attitude of “how can I achieve that level of success.”

Texas Right to Life’s Veronica Arnold Smither equipped students with pro-life retorts to fight against pro-abortion arguments made by their peers. Smither brought a special guest on stage saying, “you can’t give a pro-life talk without a baby.”

Students heard from Dr. Burt Folsom, the longest serving faculty member of YAF’s student programs. Folsom provided students an interesting look into U.S. economic history and on the greatness of American entrepreneurship.

Rapper and author Zuby made his YAF debut with “20 Things I’ve Learned (Or Had Confirmed) About Humanity During The ‘Pandemic.’” Afterwards he even performed an impromptu freestyle upon request.

CEO of Rivida Networks Declan Ganley warned students of ‘crony corporatism’ and stressed its difference from free-market capitalism.

Counselor to President Trump, Kellyanne Conway ended the night with a riveting speech. She also imparted some of her wisdom on how to respond to negativity.

Wednesday morning, Shelley Luther shared her experience fighting against government restrictions during lockdowns. Luther stood for her business and stylists to the point of going to jail.

Attorney General of Texas Ken Paxton told stories of his encounters with Former President, Donald Trump.

Students were educated on taxes and border security byCongressman Byron Donalds.

Dr. James Lindsay revealed the truth about Critical Race Theory and equipped students to fight it on their campuses.

Political advisor Stephen Miller shared his stance on the current state of immigration in the United States, and urged students to think critically about their own.

Vice President Mike Pence’s much anticipated speech was an ode to conservative values. He declared America “the most just, noble, and inclusive nation in the history of the world.”

Congressman Chip Roy discussed energy, and the security crisis of the southern border.

Students were encouraged by American activist Mark Meckler to stand for small government and self-governance. He also stressed the threat that big tech poses to conservatives today.

Students heard from Governor Scott Walker, Young America’s Foundation’s president, who discussed the issues students will face when headed back to their campuses this fall. He concluded by encouraging students to stand for freedom in all scenarios.

Author of When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Movement, Ryan Anderson educated the freedom fighters on gender theory, a topic that has overtaken social media, collegiate classes, and much conversation among the generation present.

Students had the opportunity to hear from Pro-life activist and founder of Live Action, Lila Rose, who taught students the value of human life, especially in the womb.

The youngest conservative woman in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Kat Cammack was uniquely able to connect with students. Cammack shared her Cinderella story of going from homelessness to Congress. Later that night, Cammack stole the show during freedom karaoke.

Students were reminded that success is not determined by race by Lt. Col. Allen West.

Ambassador Robert O’Brien advocated for a strong national security and a taut stance on China.

Former Chief of Staff to VP Mike Pence, Marc Short encouraged students to be active on their campuses. He also shared stories from his time as Pence’s Chief of Staff.

Students were reminded of America’s exceptionalism by Congressman Louie Gohmert.

American author Alex Epstein shared with students his affinity for fossil fuels, and the misguidance of the ‘green’ movement.

Equipping students with tools for productive debate, Congressman Dan Crenshaw taught students how to effectively change minds and emphasized the importance of failure on the journey to success.

NCSC went out with a bang with Senator Ted Cruz. He encouraged students to “light fires” and never cede to the Left.

Students also had the opportunity to participate in activities such as a freedom 5K with Governor Walker, morning yoga, discussion session with their peers, tour of Houston, and Freedom Karaoke.

You can view all of the influential speakers at NCSC by going to YAF’s YouTube channel.

The future of conservatism is bright, and that was made clear at the National Conservative Student Conference.