Photo Credit: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

“I’ve worked hand-in-hand with YAF going back more than 15 years,” Vice President Mike Pence noted at the YAF National Conservative Student Conference closing banquet. “It’s remarkable to think about the Young America’s Foundation’s history and contributions, not just to my small life, but to the conservative movement itself and to this entire country.”

Last week, Young America’s Foundation’s National Conservative Student Conference (NCSC) gave more than 500 students the opportunity to hear from more conservative speakers in one place than they will hear from during four years of college. (Students were so hungry for conservative ideas that they started saving seats in the lecture hall as early as 5:40 a.m.!)

A diverse group of students converged on our nation’s capital last week to hear the truth about America, history, and economics—lessons they’re not likely to hear when they return to their liberal campuses this fall.

Representing more than 120 unique colleges and universities, the students came from 34 different states and four countries to learn from Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee; Dennis Prager; Dinesh D’Souza; Katie Pavlich; Rachel Campos-Duffy; and Speaker Newt Gingrich—just some of the more than 30 leading conservatives from all arenas who inspired and informed students at this year’s NCSC.

In addition, for the first time in eight years, Young America’s Foundation had friends in the White House who took time to address our student audience and provide updates on this administration’s work to advance conservative ideas. Young America’s Foundation was honored to host Vice President Mike Pence, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, and White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short at this year’s conference.

Reaching 100 million homes, C-SPAN broadcast more than 45 hours of the conference to date, expanding the impact of the speakers’ calls to bold action far beyond the four walls of our conference venue. You can re-watch these leading conservatives’ speeches here.

The closing dinner banquet for YAF’s 39th annual National Conservative Student Conference was a special one, featuring remarks by Vice President Mike Pence and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.

“It’s a great honor to be here tonight to address the rising generation of conservative leaders, the men and women of Young America’s Foundation,” began Vice President Pence.

“Since its founding in 1960, YAF has been a bulwark of American greatness. You fight for the truths of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. You fight for those timeless principles of ‘individual freedom, a strong national defense, free enterprise, and traditional moral values.'”

“And let there be no doubt because of the work of all of you all across the country, conservative values are winning on campuses and winning the hearts and minds of America one student at a time.”

The Vice President continued, thanking YAF for its “heroic work promoting and standing for freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas on the campuses across the country.”

“Thank you to the young men and women of Young America’s Foundation for your strong stand for our freedoms, and thank you for all that you do, day-in and day-out to bring the conservative message to the public square.”

We at Young America’s Foundation believe President Reagan’s words from his 1993 address to the National Conservative Student Conference still ring true today: “I know the conference will send you back to your campuses better informed, motivated, and trained. Your work is vital to the future of the nation.”