A Week of Enrichment and Education

Early tomorrow morning, I will be leaving for Washington, D.C., to attend the National Conservative Student Conference, an annual summer event for college students sponsored by Young America’s Foundation. YAF (not to be confused with the other YAF - Young Americans for Freedom) is one of our country’s leading national conservative organizations, and is dedicated to assisting the youth of America in promoting the conservative and pro-liberty movement throughout our campuses, our communities, our cities, and our country. There are few political organizations in the United States that I admire and appreciate more than YAF.

Young America's Foundation was founded in 1969, and has been working to provide assistance, resources, and support to young Americans, in their quest to implement their pro-freedom and pro-America principles to their fellow citizens. YAF helps students bring conservative/libertarian speakers to their campuses, and assists and encourages other forms of youth activism as well. The conferences and seminars that YAF holds, such as this week's 26th annual National Conservative Student Conference, are enormously successful at inspiring, educating, training, and encouraging the Americans of our generation to promote our values throughout our schools and societies. Their fantasic speakers list includes some of the most popular, most controversial, and most insightful conservative and libertarian leaders in our country, and so many College Republicans and conservative student groups have successfully hosted great events at their schools and colleges with the help of YAF; this is an essential part of being able to counteract the prevailing liberal dogma that unfortunately pervades so many campus today. And if you want to bring a speaker to your campus that you don't see on their list, contact YAF, and they may be able to help you with that too.

In the spring of 1998, it seemed that the famous Reagan Ranch in Santa Barbara, California may have to be sold; it was not know what would become of this historical American landmark. Young America's Foundation came to the rescue, purchasing the Rancho del Cielo (President Reagan's "Western White House"), and making it the keystone of their Presidential Leadership Program. YAF has continuously been striving to keep the Reagan legacy alive, and will continue to promote the spirit of remembrance and honor with respect to the greatest president of our time.



One of the greatest things that I admire about YAF is that they firmly believe in promoting true-blue conservative and pro-liberty American values, not just in toeing a partisan or governmental line. Unlike some of the "moderate" and party Establishment-type groups on college campuses (such as some College Republican chapters), YAF believes in fearlessly promoting the values of classic conservatism and republican liberty among the youth of our nation. They encourage student conservative and Republican groups to take bold measures to create an impact on their campuses, and their communities. The provocative posters that YAF distributes are known for stirring emotions, thoughtful reflection, and sometimes inciting debate and controversy among those who view them. YAF also encourages forms of student activism that many would find extreme - but these are the measures that make the greatest impact, and will be able to get our points across with the most recognition and potency. For example, one of the members of Young America's Foundation's Club 100, Roger Williams University College Republicans President Jason Mattera, started a "White Scholarship Award" - this controversial scholarship would provide a small amount of money to non-minority students. Here is the YAF page with the background info on the white scholarship award. The intent of this action was to make a symbolic gesture pointing out how many race-based scholarships exist; the now-famous Mr. Mattera is himself of Puerto Rican descent, and received a scholarship based upon that. Mr. Mattera unfairly took a lot of heat - including from his fellow Republicans - for this brave action... Everyone from Karl Rove to RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie to the Rhode Island GOP leadership to neocon knee-jerking Bushophile Sean Hannity piled upon the 20-year-old conservative Latino and the College Republicans at RWU; see Mr. Mattera's excellent response column, published on LewRockwell.com. We need more cool College Republicans and principled pro-America, pro-liberty, conservative students and youth within the Republican Party, and within today's conservative movement. And YAF is one of the organizations that can help make that happen.

All high school and college students who are interested in conservative or libertarian principles, and who have the desire to spread these values throughout their schools and communities, or for those who just want to learn more about political philosophy and political activism - I strongly suggest that you consider contacting and getting involved with Young America's Foundation. Please visit their website at YAF.org, or give them a call at (800) USA-1776.

God Bless YAF, and may they keep up the great work that they are doing for a long time to come.

"Young America's Foundation programs offer invaluable assistance to young men and women searching for the encouragement and understanding necessary to reinforce the values of a free society."
--- Ronald Reagan

Posted by Aakash at July 31, 2004 11:53 PM