Young America’s Foundation is proud to announce the Patricia A. Pearson Internship, which will enable conservative students to participate in YAF’s internship program at the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home in Dixon, Illinois, for decades to come.

Students gather outside of the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home in Dixon, Illinois, during a Young America’s Foundation program.

The internship was endowed by Ron Pearson, who serves as vice president of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, in honor of his late wife.

“One of the reasons that I funded this internship in Trish’s name is that she was from Illinois and that she was a strong Reagan supporter starting way back in 1968,” Pearson remarked. “She was always proud of the fact that he grew up in Illinois,” he added.

The two met while attending college at Valparaiso University, where they co-founded a Young Americans for Freedom chapter. They successfully hosted many activism projects and events, including lectures by Phillip Crane and Russell Kirk.

Patricia was later elected to serve as secretary of the statewide Indiana Young Americans for Freedom organization, which oversaw more than a dozen local chapters.

In 1968, Ron and Patricia were married. The couple remained active with YAF and the Conservative Movement for many years after graduation.

After moving to Washington, D.C., Patricia accepted a position in the office of Congressman John Rosselot of California. She worked on special projects for the congressman and oversaw operations when the chief of staff was out of the office.

Following the birth of the Pearsons’ first child, she became a very active full-time mother. Patricia served on the boards of the parent-teacher organizations of their children’s schools and shared her passions for English, religion, and civics with her community’s students as a substitute teacher. As their children grew older, Ron and Patricia encouraged them to get involved with YAF by attending conferences throughout high school and college.

The Pearson family, Patricia, Kathryn, R. Clark, and Ron, attends R. Clark’s law school graduation.

“The work of Young America’s Foundation was important to Trish because she understood from her own experience something that Ronald Reagan said: ‘Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States, where men were free,’” Pearson added.

Kyle Ferrebee, program director for the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home, expressed his appreciation for Pearson’s generosity. He noted, “Ron’s commitment to Young America’s Foundation’s mission to advance conservative ideas across America has been an inspiration. YAF is blessed by this support. Ron and his wife are leaving a permanent legacy that will help us develop and train our future interns in President Reagan’s hometown. I think it’s fitting that Patricia’s name will forever be tied to the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home and the success of our interns.”

Want to begin your career in the Conservative Movement? Explore our internship opportunities!