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High school students can visit Ronald Reagan’s California ranch to learn about the 20th Century’s greatest President.

What better way to celebrate freedom than by walking in President Reagan’s footsteps and learning about the ideas he championed?

At a Young America’s Foundation’s High School Conference at the Reagan Ranch, the student in your life will expand his or her knowledge of economics, American history, personal responsibility, and President Reagan’s lasting accomplishments through a series of innovative lectures, discussions, and briefings.

High school conferences are held throughout the year. Sign up to the left to learn when registration opens for this invaluable, historical experience.

  • What ages are the students?
    While we do not have specific age requirements, most students tend to be between 13-18 years of age. We accept, on a case by case basis, students who are incoming high school freshmen to outgoing high school seniors. 

    When should students arrive? 

    Students should arrive on Wednesday afternoon, and check in at the Reagan Ranch Center. Registration will begin starting at 2:00 p.m. This is where students will receive your hotel assignment.  Room keys will be available at the hotels at 3:00 p.m., but students can peruse the Exhibit Galleries at the Reagan Ranch Center if they arrive before then. Students will be assigned to a room at one of two conference hotels.  Shuttle vans will be available from Santa Barbara airport, escorted by a member of our staff (see below).

    What time does the conference end?

    The conference ends Saturday, at 5:00 p.m.  We recommend flights depart on Saturday night after 6:20 p.m.  Shuttles to the airport will operate starting at about 5:30 p.m. that day.  We do not provide a hotel room for Saturday night, so students will need to make their own accommodations if they need to stay Saturday night, or call us and we may be able to help.   

    Is tuition assistance available?

    Tuition assistance may be available on a case-by-case basis for those with financial need.  If you have financial need, please email a brief essay (no more than a page) to Jolie Ballantyne at jballantyne@yaf.org with some language regarding your financial need and what you hope to gain by attending the conference. We cannot consider your request until we receive this essay.

    Is travel assistance available?

    While travel assistance is never guaranteed, Young America’s Foundation will gladly consider all completed requests.

    Travel assistance may be available on a case-by-case basis for those with financial need. If you have financial need, please email a brief essay (no more than a page) to travel@yaf.org that includes:

    • Language regarding your financial need
    • What you hope to gain by attending the conference
    • Your travel plans
    • The expected amount of your travel plans and the amount you are requesting. (For example, Expected travel costs from IAD to SBA $500. I am requesting $200 in assistance.)

    We will not consider your request until we receive this completed essay.

    Can I sponsor a student to attend this program?

    Yes! Your generous tax-deductible gift of $2,000 will allow Young America’s Foundation to host a student at this program who could not otherwise attend.  You can designate a specific student you know to attend, or sponsor a student who is receiving free tuition as a result of financial need.  For more information about these and other sponsorship opportunities, please contact Young America’s Foundation development officer Haley Jones at hjones@yaf.org or call 888-USA-1776.              

    To which airport do I fly?

    You should fly to Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) if possible, or you can arrive at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and take a 2-hour bus to Santa Barbara through the Santa Barbara Airbus (Please visit http://www.sbairbus.com/for more information). Another option is to fly to Burbank airport and take the Amtrak train to Santa Barbara, but this option will add several hours to your arrival.    

    How will I get to and from the airport and the conference?

    Students will be picked up by a Young America’s Foundation staff member (with a sign) just outside the baggage claim area on the curb and will be taken in a shuttle bus to the Reagan Ranch Center.  The specific times of these shuttles will be determined once students submit their travel information forms about two weeks before the conference, but they will run on Wednesday afternoon and Saturday night.  You may have to wait in the airport for the next shuttle to arrive.       

    Can I take the bus?

    Yes, Greyhound has buses to downtown Santa Barbara, but they are not within walking distance of the Reagan Ranch Center or the hotels.  You can take a taxi to the Reagan Ranch Center from the bus stop.  Please visit http://www.greyhound.com/ for more information on this option.

    Can I take the train? 

    Yes, Amtrak runs trains through Santa Barbara on its Pacific Surfliner route, which spans from San Diego to San Luis Obispo.  The train station is located right in front of the Reagan Ranch Center and is a short walk to the hotels.  Please visit http://www.amtrakcalifornia.com/ for more information on this option.

    Will there be supervision during the weekend? 

    Yes, students will be supervised by several staff members who will be chaperones, and stay in the same hotels, for the whole event.  Students are expected to behave appropriately or will have to leave the conference at their parents’ expense.  Parents need to sign the waiver form and responsibility pledge that will be sent to students prior to the event.       

    Will students have free time during the conference?

    No, because the event is only three days long.  If you wish to tour Santa Barbara, please make your own plans to arrive on Tuesday night or stay through Saturday night and Sunday.  Young America’s Foundation only covers your hotel room Wednesday though Friday nights, and you will check out on Saturday morning before the sessions.  A luggage storage room will be provided.       

    Are parents and family members invited to attend the program?

    Parents and grandparents are typically invited to the opening dinner banquet on Wednesday at the Reagan Ranch Center and to other portions of the program.  Further details are mailed to students and parents in the week preceding the conference.

    What does the conference fee include?

    The conference fee includes three nights at a Santa Barbara hotel, conference tuition, materials, and meals from Wednesday dinner through Saturday lunch.      

    What is the dress code for this conference? 

    Dress for the dinner banquets will be business professional. This means a suit for the gentlemen and a suit or dress for the ladies. Jeans, shorts, and t-shirts are not acceptable attire.

    Dress for Friday morning’s sessions and the afternoon trip up to the Ranch is casual, but respectful.  At Fall programs, pack layered clothes and bring a jacket as it tends to get cold up on the mountain.  Jeans are acceptable as long as there are no holes or tears. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes.

    Dress for Thursday’s and Saturday’s daytime sessions are business casual. This means slacks, polo shirts or button-up shirts, sweaters, etc.  Jeans, shorts, and t-shirts are not acceptable attire.  

    ***The Reagan Ranch Center is about a 10-minute walk from the hotels, so ladies who wear high heels may want to consider wearing commuter-friendly shoes for the walks and then slipping into heels upon arriving at the Center.***

    What are the activities during the conference?

    Wednesday night will feature the opening banquet, to which parents and grandparents are invited.  Friday will feature speakers and question-and-answer sessions, a luncheon, a trip up to and tour of the Reagan Ranch, and an evening dinner banquet.  Thursday and Saturday feature more speakers and question-and-answer sessions in the morning and afternoon, separated by a luncheon. Students will receive a detailed agenda via email prior to the conference.

    What are the living arrangements? 

    Students will have one or two roommates of the same sex for the three nights at the conference hotels.  The registration form contains a space in which you can request a roommate, and we will do our best to accommodate your requests.  

Be the First to Know! 

Receive the latest updates, the 2020 conference schedule as it’s announced, learn how to host a campus speaker, and participate in upcoming campus initiatives. Sign up today.

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