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Winter 2012

Vol. 33


No. 1

March 1, 2012

Dear Friends:


hould Ronald Reagan’s Presidential home be saved? That is a question Young America’s Foundation leadership and supporters have had to answer during these past 14 years, but it was of utmost importance this past year. There are some who think President Reagan’s Legacy is done justice by one entity, and that entity need not save his Presidential home in the manner that George Washington’s or even Bill Clinton’s and other Presidential homes have been saved. However, Ronald Reagan’s favorite site was his ranch in the Santa Ynez Mountains. In his biography, An American Life, Reagan wrote, “Since the day we bought the ranch, if Nancy or I wanted to think something out, there is no better place to do it than Rancho del Cielo.” We believe this is still true. And we encourage Reagan scholars, public officials, professors, and students to visit the Presidential home to “think out” their principles where Ronald Reagan shaped and advanced his freedom philosophy. President Reagan signed his historic tax cut, delivered his most celebrated radio addresses, and hosted his most trusted allies at Rancho del Cielo. It was fitting then—as we celebrated the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birth— that we renewed our determination to save and fully utilize his home of 25 years. Throughout 2011, we had a capital campaign goal of $20.4 million to create an endowment, host key visitors, and hold a series of conferences and lectures to highlight the accomplishments of Ronald Reagan’s conservative philosophy. I am pleased to report we succeeded in raising $21 million. The Ranch endowment now stands at $14 million dollars, and the Reagan Ranch Center is complete with $18 million of its $20 million cost paid. Our student and national audiences heard significant addresses from Vice President Richard Cheney, Governor Sarah Palin, Governor Tim Pawlenty, Governor Scott Walker, Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Senator Marco Rubio, Michael Reagan, Dr. Art Laffer, Attorney General Ed Meese, key White House special assistants Ken Cribb and Frank Donatelli, and Congressman Allen West, among others. Thanks goes to the leadership team of Young America’s Foundation especially the Reagan Ranch Board of Governors, Andrew Coffin, Kate Obenshain, Richard Kimble, Patrick Coyle, Frank Donatelli, Ron Pearson, Jessica Jensen, and Michael Reagan. The leadership gift of Richard and Helen DeVos launched this effort. The campaign would not have been successful without their leadership and sacrificial gift. Thanks to the supporters, students, and staff of Young America’s Foundation, future Americans have a special place to “think out” their future with Ronald Reagan’s great accomplishments in mind.


Ron Robinson President

L IB E RTAS Winter 2012

Volume 33

Number 1


Senators Rubio and Lee and Congressmen West and Jordan Inspire Hundreds at 33rd Annual National Conservative Student Conference

By Ron Meyer and Katie Taran, Program Officers


Congressman Paul Ryan on Youth, the Economy, and Freedom

By Ron Meyer, Program Officer


Miss America 2011 Headlines National High School Leadership Conference

By Vinciane Ngomsi, Sarah T. Hermann Intern Scholar


“We Still Choose to Be Great”

Senator Marco Rubio’s Remarks at the National Conservative Student Conference


9/11: Never Forget Project – Students Honor Victims Ten Years Later

By Patrick X. Coyle, Vice President


Emerald Isles Cruise: Supporters Explore Reagan’s Roots

By Nicole Hoplin, Director of Foundation Relations


National Security, Patriotism, and the Next Generation: An Interview with Bestselling Author Brad Thor

By Jessica Jensen, Editor


Alumni Profile: From Foundation Activist to the Sean Hannity Radio Show

By Yasmin Tadjdeh, National Journalism Center Intern


“Dark Horse” Marines Welcomed Home at the Reagan Ranch

By Caroline Rushing, Development Officer

On the Cover: Senator Marco Rubio headlines the Reagan 100 Banquet at the 33rd annual National Conservative Student Conference in Washington, D.C.

Also in This Issue: 4 5 6

Dr. Art Laffer Headlines ’81 Tax Cut Anniversary Celebration Students Learn to “Master Conservative Rhetoric” Schweikart, McElhinney, and Robinson Educate Emerging Activists 35 Journey to Rancho del Cielo During a 2012 Reagan Ranch Getaway Weekend 43 Explore Alaska with Foundation Leaders and VIP Speakers

Libertas, the Latin word for liberty, is a publication of Young America’s Foundation which highlights the programs, events, students, staff, and supporters of the Foundation. You may contact Libertas and Young America’s Foundation by writing to: Young America’s Foundation, National Headquarters, 110 Elden Street, Herndon, Virginia 20170; calling 800-USA-1776; or visiting Publisher: Ron Robinson; Editor: Jessica Jensen; Publication Design: Jonathan Briggs; Assistant Editors: Cheri Cerame, Patrick Coyle, Nicole Hoplin, Hannah Jackman, and Katie Taran; California event photographers: Jacqueline Pilar, Kevin Steele, and Jensen Sutta; Washington, D.C. event photographer: Spencer Anderson. This document and all herein contents, images, stories, graphics, and design, fall unto copyright © 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 Young America’s Foundation, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. Any use of Libertas’ content without the written permission of Young America’s Foundation is prohibited.

Young America’s Foundation Board Of Directors Ron Robinson President of the Board Ronald Pearson Vice President of the Board Frank Donatelli Secretary and Treasurer of the Board T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr. Wynton C. Hall Thomas L. Phillips Peter Schweizer James B. Taylor Kirby Wilbur Reagan Ranch Board Of Governors Frank Donatelli Chairman Judge William Clark Co-Chairman Edwin Meese Co-Chairman Governor George Allen John Barletta Dr. Suzanne Becker Lisa M. Buestrin Robert Cummins Becky Norton Dunlop Robert Giuffra, Jr. Timothy S. Goeglein Ambassador Patricia L. Herbold Eric & Nicole Hoplin Marty Irving Harold Knapheide Mark Larson Al & Bette Moore Governor Bill Owens Doug & Pat Perry Thomas Phillips Dr. Robert Ruhe & Lee Shannon Fred & Ruth Sacher Richard & Jane Schwartz Craig Shirley Owen & Bernadette Casey Smith Barbara S. Waddell National Journalism Center Board Of Governors Thomas Phillips Chairman Alex X. Mooney Executive Director Kellyanne Conway Terry Eastland Rich Lowry Matt Robinson Tom Winter

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Dr. Art Laffer Headlines 30th Anniversary Celebration of 1981 Tax Cuts On August 13, 1981, with press lining his driveway, President Reagan signed into law the largest tax cut in American history at his beloved Rancho del Cielo. On August 12, 2011, more than 150 students and supporters of Young America’s Foundation gathered at Rancho del Cielo to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Economic Recovery Tax Act. Prior to dinner, guests enjoyed tours of the Reagan Ranch and a book signing of Return to Prosperity with our keynote speaker, Dr. Arthur Laffer—who served on President Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board. Dr. Laffer offered an insider’s perspective on President Reagan’s economic ideas and the events that led to the greatest tax cut. Dr. Laffer also offered excellent insight regarding the economic challenges we face today. He provided guests with encouragement that, just like Ronald Reagan’s policies, the policies of President Obama’s successor will be exactly what our nation needs for economic recovery. Popular San Diego radio host Mark Larson emceed the event, and Foundation President Ron Robinson closed out the evening by thanking Dr. Laffer; the members of our Reagan Ranch Board of Governors in attendance—John Barletta, Mark Larson, and Dr. Robert Ruhe—and the multitude of supporters who attended the celebration.

Dr. Art Laffer signs copies of his book, Return to Prosperity, after his speech at the Reagan Ranch.

University of California, Santa Barbara student Emily Badraun and Reagan Ranch Board of Governors member Mark Larson listen to Dr. Laffer’s address at Rancho del Cielo.


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Dr. Laffer speaks to Foundation students and supporters on the 30th anniversary of the 1981 tax cuts.

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Blunt, Thiessen, and Hall Teach Young People How to “Master Conservative Rhetoric” A group of America’s finest young conservative leaders gathered on Capitol Hill to participate in what some ultimately described as “one of the best weeks” of their lives. In its second year and once again generously sponsored by Foundation supporter Caesar Arredondo in 2011, Young America’s Foundation’s seminar on “Mastering Conservative Rhetoric in the Battle of Ideas” teaches college students and young professionals how to effectively debate and communicate their messages. The Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore teaches seminar The participants were mentored by author and Foundation Director participants how to effectively communicate their free market Wynton Hall and enjoyed a rigorous three-day program on strengthening ideas. discourse to advance conservative principles. Dr. Martin Medhurst, distinguished professor of rhetoric and communication and professor of political science at Baylor University, also delivered an effective lecture on the origins of conservative rhetoric. In addition, the young leaders heard from other important speakers, including former speechwriter for President George W. Bush Marc Thiessen, best-selling author and editor of Human Events Jason Mattera, Regnery Publishing President Marji Ross, CEO of the polling company inc. Kellyanne Conway, and the Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore, among others. The group enjoyed a special breakfast session featuring Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, whose participation was made possible with the help of Foundation Vice President Ron Pearson. Throughout the program, friendships were formed, and the young leaders enjoyed learning new ways to communicate their values and ideas. Katie Poedtke, legislative correspondent for Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, noted: “Attendees learned about and refined their own rhetorical skills with the guidance and personal attention of the Conservative Movement’s foremost experts on the subject. The intensive and intimate format is incredibly effective.”

(Left) Senator Roy Blunt addresses the young leaders during a special breakfast on Capitol Hill. (Right) Young professionals from around the country travel to Washington, D.C., for the second annual “Mastering Conservative Rhetoric in the Battle of Ideas” seminar.

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Schweikart, McElhinney, and Robinson Inspire “Emerging Activist Seminar” Attendees “I feel well equipped to really make a difference for the Conservative Movement on my campus,” stated Truman State Professor Larry Schweikart shares his knowledge of liberal bias in popular University student Ben Salmon on the final day of Young history textbooks. America’s Foundation’s “Emerging Activist Seminar” held at the Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara, California. With students representing 20 campuses across North America, the seminar, specifically designed for students new to the Conservative Movement, educated attendees on core conservative principles.  For a majority of students, this seminar was their first Foundation event.  The program featured author and professor Dr. Larry Schweikart who spoke about the liberal bias that is prevalent in many popular history textbooks—the subject of his book, 48 Liberal Lies About American History. Foundation President Ron Robinson instructed the attendees on how to identify sources of liberal indoctrination and called attention to the relentless attacks on conservatives in many mainstream publications. The program included a tour of the Reagan Ranch Center and documentary screenings to educate and inspire the young activists. Students watched the Foundation’s inaugural film, Still Point in a Turning World: Ronald Reagan and his Ranch, prior to touring President Reagan’s beloved Rancho del Cielo. Students also viewed Battle for America, a conservative call-to-action film, and Not Evil, Just Wrong: The True Cost of Global Warming Hysteria, which was followed by a captivating Hayley Faith from discussion with one of the film’s directors, Ann McElhinney. Auburn University Foundation alumnus and Associate Editor Alex and Rahab Hackett Marlow shared his expertise in new media. from Furman University enjoy Throughout the program, students networked with rising the three-day conservative leaders and learned how to promote conservative program at the ideas on campus. Foundation Vice President Patrick Coyle Reagan Ranch Center where concluded the seminar with a presentation on how students they receive an could continue their involvement with the Conservative introduction to Movement and Young America’s Foundation. conservative ideas.

Students participating in the Foundation’s “Emerging Activists Seminar” walk in Ronald Reagan’s footsteps at his beloved Rancho del Cielo.


Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Winter 2012

Senator Mike Lee of Utah discusses the importance of adhering to the Constitution.

Rising Conservative Leaders Offer Pro-Freedom Ideas to Restore America Senators Rubio and Lee and Congressmen West and Jordan Headline 33rd Annual National Conservative Student Conference By Ron Meyer and Katie Taran, Program Officers


merica’s young people face harsh realities resulting from the Obama administration’s policies.  Youth unemployment has reached a 30-year high at 17.3%, student loan debt is soaring to record levels, and the national debt threatens to make them fiscal servants of the government. Today’s students are eager for alternative ideas, and they’re not hearing them in their classrooms. To provide such ideas, Young America’s Foundation hosted the rising leaders in the Conservative Movement at the 33rd annual National Conservative Student Conference. More than 350 participants from 38 states and five countries came to The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., to be inspired by conservative ideas. This event was a part of Young America’s Foundation’s Reagan 100 celebration, a year-long initiative honoring the 100th

anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s birth. Senator Marco Rubio headlined the conference’s Reagan 100 Banquet to conclude the first full day of conference activities (see speech on page 19).  Reagan Ranch Board of Governors Chairman Frank Donatelli emceed the event. Prior to dinner, Foundation Vice President Kate Obenshain motivated the crowd by highlighting student activists who are standing strong for freedom. Fully understanding the importance of freedom, Senator Rubio explained that it’s not merely our form of government that makes America exceptional: Reagan knew a fundamental truth, and that is that this idea, this notion of wanting to accomplish your God-given (continued on page 11) Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Winter 2012


Stephen Hayes, senior writer for the Weekly Standard, addresses more than 350 students attending the Foundation’s signature summer program at The George Washington University.

Freshman Congressman Allen West inspires the students attending the 33rd annual National Conservative Student Conference in Washington, D.C.


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Jolie Stuart-Davis (left) from Central Washington University and Rachelle Weise (right) from Georgia Tech meet activist and author Bay Buchanan following her speech at the conference.

Congressman Jim Jordan encourages the young activists to stand strong for their beliefs.

KT McFarland, national security analyst for Fox News, discusses conflicts overseas in a speech titled “Flashpoints Across the World.”

Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Winter 2012


Jeffrey Washington from Metropolitan State College of Denver asks a question of one of the leading conservatives headlining the annual conference.


Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Winter 2012

(continued from page 7) ambitions and your God-given dreams was not an American principle or an American dream. It was a universal one. And the thing that distinguished us from the rest of the world is that we created a place here where it was possible. America is a place where people from all over the world could come because they couldn’t be who God meant them to be in the nation of their birth…but here, nothing could stand in their way.

National Review’s Jonah Goldberg delivers a rousing address about the Obama administration’s failures and what’s to come under leftist leadership.

Students from 38 states and five countries enjoy a week of learning and inspiration during the National Conservative Student Conference.

Foundation alumnus and Human Events Editor Jason Mattera inscribes copies of his New York Times bestseller, Obama Zombies.

Fellow freshmen lawmakers—Senator Mike Lee of Utah and Congressman Allen West of Florida—and third-term Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio, echoed Senator Rubio’s sentiments and inspired the conference attendees to care about what’s happening to our country.  Whether the subject was the debt burden being passed to America’s youth or the terrible job situation, these leaders conveyed that only more conservative activism can solve this generation’s challenges. Foundation Vice President Ron Pearson helped secure the Congressional speakers’ participation. Stephen K. Bannon, director of the Foundation’s inaugural film, Still Point in a Turning World, and the Sarah Palin film—The Undefeated—warned that liberalism is endangering future generations.  Fox News panelist Stephen Hayes, CNN contributor Dana Loesch, National Review’s Jonah Goldberg, and Human Events Editor Jason Mattera also motivated the students with their powerful, pro-freedom messages. Addressing the importance of investigative journalism, Mattera and Project Veritas’ James O’Keefe, who is known for his video stings exposing the corruption of ACORN and NPR, explained how new media can be used to promote reform. To arm the students with intellectual firepower, the conference also included a panel on books every conservative student should read. CPAC director Chris Malagisi, National Review Online editor Kathryn Lopez, and The Fund for American Studies President Roger Ream suggested a number of titles, ranging from classic conservative literature to more modern works. Whether students were in stitches over Dr. Larry Schweikart’s lecture on “48 Liberal Lies” or enjoying Ann Coulter’s witty one-liners attacking liberal hypocrisy, the students walked away with a greater understanding of their conservative beliefs and what they can do to promote them. Other speakers throughout the week included KT McFarland, Dr. Burt Folsom, Joseph Phillips, Charles Payne, Mari Maseng Will, Tim Carney, Alyssa Cordova, Bay Buchanan, Dr. Robert George, Tim Goeglein, Matt Richardson, Marc Thiessen, Stephen Moore, Rich Lowry, and Pat Coyle. University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire student activist Tim Duffy summed up his experience in a few words: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for students to travel and meet other conservative leaders with the ultimate goal of making this country better off than we found it.”

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Congressman Paul Ryan Shares Insights on the Economy, Youth Unemployment, and Freedom By Ron Meyer, Program Officer

Young America’s Foundation Program Officer Ron Meyer sat down with Congressman Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, for a video interview for Congressman Ryan shared his thoughts on the current economic crisis, its impact on young people, and what we need to do to grow our economy and advance freedom. We hope you enjoy highlights from this one-on-one interview with one of the top conservatives in Congress today. To view the entire interview with Congressman Ryan, visit Ron Meyer: Do you think the Obama administration and its allies are serious about the debt problem? —————————————————————————— Congressman Ryan: Their actions and their policies show they’re not. I think many liberals believe we should just raise taxes. They subscribe to the view that the federal government is not big enough—even though it’s on the right trajectory to get bigger—and seem comfortable raising taxes on individuals and job creators to pay for it. We’re not going to fall into that. I think they really do believe that a government that’s around 30 percent of GDP is where we ought to be. We’re historically around 20 percent. To many liberals, it’s just a question of going out and getting the taxes to pay for it. Mathematically, this approach just doesn’t work. You can’t tax your way out of this problem. There aren’t enough “rich people” to pay for this, and every American would have to pay a lot more in taxes if we’re going to go down this path that they’re paving for us. Ron Meyer: Would you say that the Left is also ignoring the effects of tax hikes on younger Americans? —————————————————————————— Congressman Ryan: Absolutely. Look at the unemployment rate. It’s the youth that have the highest unemployment rates in the country—often in the double digits.


Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Winter 2012

Congressman Paul Ryan represents Wisconsin’s first district and serves as chairman of the House Budget Committee.

When I was growing up, I worked at McDonalds; I detasseled corn. I did lots of different jobs. It was easy to get a job as a young person. It is harder and harder to find a job today if you’re just graduating college. It’s even harder to get a good job within the field you’ve chosen to study. We’ve got to change that. Younger Americans are hungry for opportunities to contribute and succeed, and leaders in Washington must orient policies so we have a dynamic, competitive economy throughout the 21st century. Ron Meyer: Critics of your budget plan say that you’re the one that’s trying to “push grandmother off a cliff.” Are you really trying to push granny off a cliff, or are liberals trying to push today’s young people off a cliff? —————————————————————————— Congressman Ryan: Liberals are actually pushing granny and your generation off a cliff. Don’t forget that the Obama administration does have a

plan for Medicare. They passed it into law already through the health care overhaul. Their plan for Medicare is to take a half a trillion dollars from Medicare to spend on Obamacare. Then, the President is going to appoint a board of 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats to ration Medicare. Their jobs will be to put price controls on Medicare and to determine what seniors can and cannot get and what providers can and cannot do. That is going to hurt and deny seniors the healthcare they need through Medicare. We repeal the raid of the program. We repeal the rationing board. We strengthen Medicare for those in and near retirement and save the program for future generations. We actually say: If you’re on Medicare, we’re going to leave your benefits alone because you already retired or are near retirement, but for our generation, Medicare goes bankrupt in nine years. It won’t be there for us as it currently is standing. We’ve got to make reforms for future generations, so we can actually have something when we retire. I would rather have power as an individual to select providers than be subject to the whims of some board of bureaucrats. We make Medicare solvent. We give younger people more choices when they retire. It’s something they can count on, and we don’t change the program for people in or near retirement—unlike the Obama plan which is to ration and raid the program. Ron Meyer: Regarding the debt crisis and Obamacare, it seems like government’s policies are anti-youth. What can young people do to help turn that around? ——————————————————— Congressman Ryan: You can make the most of your life if you apply yourself. We want to have a system that makes it as easy as possible for you to do what you want to do with your life and reach your potential. With the kind of government we have—the debt, the taxes, the regulations, the stagnation—and because of current economic policies, that’s not going to be the case. In the near future, the 10% tax rate for low-income people will increase to 25%. Middle income taxpayers will pay a 66% tax rate. The top-income tax bracket—which is what all those successful small businesses are going to pay—goes to 88%. These aren’t my numbers; this is what the Congressional Budget Office is telling us. That’s the path that awaits us if we stay on the Obama administration’s plan.

Whatever you call it, that is not opportunity and growth for the next generation. That is not maintaining the American legacy of leaving the next generation better off. That’s severing that legacy.

You can make the most of your life if you apply yourself. We want to have a system that makes it as easy as possible for you to do what you want to do with your life and reach your potential.

Congressman Ryan addresses Capitol Hill interns during a special Foundation seminar on Capitol Hill in 2006. Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Winter 2012


Congressmen Harris and McHenry and Miss America 2011 Inspire High School Students By Vinciane Ngomsi, Sarah T. Hermann Intern Scholar


nce upon a time, high school students had no trouble finding summer jobs, but life is different under the Obama administration’s economic policies. Fortunately, young people are turning away from the notion that the government is the solution to every problem. They are eager for ideas that will help them reach their full potential as individuals. For these reasons, Young America’s Foundation hosted high school students interested 14

Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Winter 2012

in jump-starting their roles in the Conservative Movement. More than 100 participants from 25 states attended the 14th Gratia Houghton Rinehart National High School Leadership Conference at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland. The students learned from conservative leaders including Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan, Congressmen Patrick McHenry and Andy Harris​, Human Events Editor Jason Mattera, and activist Bay Buchanan, among others.

Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan addresses students at the 14th Gratia Houghton Rinehart National High School Conference at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Congressman Andy Harris teaches the high school conference attendees the importance of leadership.

Congressman McHenry from North Carolina kicked off the conference with a rousing speech during the program’s opening banquet. McHenry, elected to Congress in 2004 at the age of 29, challenged students to embrace conservative public policy on their campuses, suggesting that they “make it cool, make it relevant, and make people understand the impact it has on their daily lives.” The following evening, students met and heard from Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan. Now at age 18 and one of the youngest Miss Americas ever, Teresa is no stereotypical pageant winner and is wise beyond her years.  Like several of the students at the conference, Scanlan was mostly home-schooled, and she praised her education, giving it credit for her ability to make good decisions regarding her future. These future plans include attending law school and eventually becoming a Supreme Court justice.  During her speech, Scanlan said she believes the United States Constitution should be the guiding force of the federal government and stressed the importance of principled decision making. Scanlan also discussed the importance of incorporating faith Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Winter 2012


Congressman Patrick McHenry shares how he first got involved in conservative activism and encourages the students to advance their ideas at their schools.

(Above) Young America’s Foundation Vice President Kate Obenshain urges the high school conference attendees to stand strong for their ideas. (Right) Students from 25 states travel to our nation’s capital for the 14th Gratia Houghton Rinehart National High School Leadership Conference.


Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Winter 2012

into one’s everyday lifestyle, mentioning that, throughout the preliminary Miss America competition, her faith played a major role in maintaining a humble, level-headed demeanor. “The true definition of humility is thinking of yourself less and putting others first,” said Scanlan. Another student favorite was Jason Mattera, editor of Human Events and Foundation alumnus.  Mattera, a graduate of Young America’s Foundation’s National Journalism Center and former Foundation spokesman, analyzed the successes and failures of the Obama administration from a young person’s perspective.  Mattera explained how the Left ​champions social media outlets and effectively uses cultural icons.  To combat this, Mattera advised the young audience to implement practical strategies that make use of music, media, and culture to communicate with their peers.  Mattera argued that liberalism’s hegemony on young people is fading, contending that Obama has “lost some of his mojo.”  “However, he must still have some magic,” quipped Mattera, “because he pulled a Houdini and made all the jobs disappear!” Also addressing disappearing jobs and the dismal economy, Dr. Burt Folsom—popular

Foundation speaker, author, and professor of history at Hillsdale College—delivered an effective lecture about President Franklin Roosevelt​and the misconceptions surrounding the effectiveness of his New Deal plan. Folsom explained that Roosevelt’s implementation of the New Deal actually prolonged economic suffering and unemployment for Americans. To combat liberalism at their future colleges and universities, Folsom recommended that the students study economic history and become wellversed in conservative, free-market philosophy. On a similar note, Kate Obenshain, Foundation vice president and frequent Fox News​contributor, advised the students to be courageous in their classrooms and to challenge the prevailing liberal orthodoxy that prevents the free and open exchange of ideas. “Our ancestors founded this nation in order to escape persecution because of their ideas,” said Obenshain. “If we cease to be able to express what we believe, then we cease to be free.” Author and professor Dr. Larry Schweikart signs copies of his informative book, A Patriot’s History of the United States.

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Foundation staff and interns meet with Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan following her address at the conference’s dinner banquet. (Pictured from left: Vice President Patrick X. Coyle, Janie Abel, Vinciane Ngomsi, Jiesi Zhao, Teresa Scanlan, Program Officer Ron Meyer, Program Officer Katie Taran, Will Simpson, and Mike Cunningham.)

Students (from left) Evyn McCabe and Shawn Jackson-Evans learn from leading conservative speakers during the three-day conference.


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Building on this case, Foundation Vice President Patrick Coyle encouraged students to exercise their campus free speech rights by becoming involved in or starting their own campus conservative organizations.  Specifically, he encouraged students to start a Young Americans for Freedom chapter, now a project of Young America’s Foundation, to advance conservative ideas on their campuses. Other speakers throughout the program included Foundation Director and Washington State GOP Chairman Kirby Wilbur, columnist Deroy Murdock, author and professor Dr. Larry Schweikart, Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute President Michelle Easton, author and professor Dr. Paul Kengor, and College of the Ozarks President Dr. Jerry Davis. “This conference has not only given me the opportunity to hear great conservative speakers and meet other young conservatives, but it has also reminded me that conservative beliefs are worth fighting for,” remarked Bryan Thomas from Mars Area High School in Mars, Pennsylvania. Carolina Lulli, a student from Oakcrest Academy in McLean, Virginia, echoed Bryan’s optimism: “It is so great to be surrounded by such encouraging, vibrant, intelligent conservatives. Not only do they convey a strong sense of hope, but they are also fabulous role models….I have learned so much about the Conservative Movement as well as how to defend it. I thank God that I was given the opportunity to be here.”




“We Still Choose to Be Great” Address at the 2011 National Conservative Student Conference By Senator Marco Rubio “If you have a good idea and you’re willing to work hard at it, anyone from anywhere can accomplish anything.”


But that’s not what really ’m really excited to separates us from the rest speak to you today and of world. What has always excited about what separated us is that, in you’re a part of, because, America, it doesn’t matter much like what this country where you came from or was in the early 1980s, what your parents did for America is once again in a a living. If you have a good moment of decision. idea and you’re willing to Ronald Reagan gave a work hard at it, anyone from very famous speech called anywhere can accomplish “A Time for Choosing.”  anything. What he outlined was a For those of us who were decision Americans had to born and raised in this make about what kind of nation in a time of relative country we wanted to be peace and prosperity, and what role we wanted Senator Marco Rubio delivers a rousing address during Young America’s Foundation’s 33rd annual National Conservative Student sometimes it becomes easy government to play in our Conference in Washington, D.C. to forget that and to take lives. It’s not a new choice. In it for granted. But, the fact is, this is an exception rather fact, it’s a choice that virtually every generation of American than the rule. What we know as life in America is almost an leadership has had to make. And for much of our history, impossibility almost anywhere else in human history. that choice has been clear: America wanted to be different, There has never been a place like this. We should never be and America wanted to be special. embarrassed to say that because it is true. You should never What separated us from the rest of the world wasn’t just our be embarrassed to see America for what it is: unique and political system. Our political system is something we should exceptional and set apart from the rest of the world. always embrace and be proud of. Our republic is unique. Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Winter 2012


Address at the 2011 National Conservative Student Conference ––––––––––––––————––––——–—––––––––––––––––– Senator Marco Rubio –––––––––––––––––—————————––––––––––––––––

It always came from our people, and in the early 1980s, But you also have to understand that that [uniqueness] he knew that there was nothing wrong with the American was a choice. It wasn’t an accident. It didn’t happen on its people. And he knew, if we embrace the principles that made own. It didn’t develop overnight because we’re smarter than us great in the past, they would make us even greater in the everybody or because God loves America more than he loves future. other nations. It was the product of choices that were made by the people who worked in this city and across this country History has recorded what happened. The Soviet Union and its brand of communism didn’t just not come to before us. They choose to have an exceptional America, and dominate the globe. It actually, literally collapsed. that meant difficult decisions and sacrifices. But it also was a …As an aside, do you realize that when Ronald Reagan clear and conscious choice that America wanted to continue said, “Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall!” there were to be different. actually people in his administration who kept taking that That was also the choice that America had to make in the line out of the speech? They believed that language was too early 1980s. In a time of uncertainty about our future, some abrasive, too antagonistic, and not Presidential, and it didn’t argued that America was on the decline and communism belong there. They believed it was unrealistic to expect that would inevitably spread across the world. They argued that we could accomplish that. America had to embrace and accept the But Reagan knew one fundamental world order where we would somehow “America is a place where truth. [He knew] the notion of wanting have to be second place to emerging people from all over the to accomplish your God-given ambition powers—primarily, the Soviet Union. and your God-given dreams was not But there was a voice in America world would come because an American principle or an American named Ronald Reagan who said not they couldn’t be what God dream. It was a universal one… only was that not true, but in fact, America is a place where people everything that the Soviet Union made them to be in the from all over the world would come represented was destined to fail and fail nations of their birth.” because they couldn’t be what God miserably. made them to be in the nations of And people literally laughed. They their birth. That is literally what we didn’t chuckle; they didn’t disagree. are as a people: a collection of go-getters from all over the They laughed at him. They believed that what he said was planet who could not accomplish their dreams and hopes simply absurd. or accomplish their God-given ambitions in the nations of He also talked about the notion that America could once their birth. Here, nothing could stand in their way. That was again be great. He said it could be the leading military power Reagan’s America in the late 1970s and early 1980s. That was in the world and the leading economic power in the world— the America that I grew up in. that, somehow, our future could be better than our history. [When people ask how I became a conservative], I tell And, again, the critics didn’t chuckle or disagree; them I grew up in the era of Reagan. I grew up in an era they laughed. They believed that, after Vietnam and the where I watched and believed and knew that America’s Watergate era and the “malaise” of the late 1970s, America future could be greater than its past… would never be the same. They believed we would still be an Well, we’re at another juncture in America’s history important and significant country but not the exceptional where, once again, we have to choose whether or not we want land that Reagan knew as a boy and the one he had grown to continue to be exceptional or if we are prepared to become up in. like everybody else. It is a choice that every generation before Ronald Reagan knew better because Ronald Reagan us has had to make, and now it’s our turn. It’s a choice, by the knew that our greatness never came from our government. 20

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Address at the 2011 National Conservative Student Conference ––––––––––––––————––––——–—––––––––––––––––– Senator Marco Rubio –––––––––––––––––—————————––––––––––––––––

Senator Rubio headlines the Foundation’s Reagan 100 banquet during the annual student summer conference in our nation’s capital.

way, that is at the core of everything that’s debated here in Washington, D.C. I am sure you all watched this debt limit debate. But the debt limit debate was not about the debt limit. The debt limit debate was, at its core, about what the country wants moving forward. The facts are indisputable. The United States government spends $300 billion a month, and $180 billion of that comes from money we collect from taxes and fees. The rest, $120 billion or so every month, comes from money that we borrow. That ratio is unsustainable, but it is only destined to get worse. You see, our spending is going to go up dramatically because we have made promises. This government and the leaders that were here before have made promises that are going to increase spending—Medicare balloons, Social Security balloons.

In addition, revenue cannot keep pace, and our economy has flat-lined. It literally did not grow [during the second quarter of 2011]. It did not grow. Unemployment hovers at nine-something percent, but the real unemployment figure—when you add in people that are underemployed and those who have just stopped looking for jobs—is close to 20 percent. One out of five Americans is underemployed or has simply given up, and that means that that revenue number, as a percentage of how much we spend, is only going to get worse….The spending is going to balloon, and the revenue is going to stay stagnant. In addition, the $120 billion that we borrow each month is completely unsustainable. If we keep doing what we are doing, and if nothing changes, we will have a debt crisis that will make the last one look like child’s play. This last debt Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Winter 2012


Address at the 2011 National Conservative Student Conference ––––––––––––––————––––——–—––––––––––––––––– Senator Marco Rubio –––––––––––––––––—————————––––––––––––––––

More than 350 participants from 38 states enjoy Senator Rubio’s remarks during the National Conservative Student Conference.

crisis was basically because we wouldn’t pass the law that raises the debt limit. The next debt crisis may be one where [other countries] won’t lend us money because they don’t think we can pay them back. The warnings are out there from everyone. There will come a day, if we do not stop what we’re doing now, when the world will refuse to continue to lend us money, or if they do lend us money, they will lend it at higher interest rates. They don’t see a plot forward for America. The math is simple, and quite frankly, everyone agrees that this is true. But there is a sharp disagreement about how to address it. On the one hand, you have those who believe that the only way to address this is to increase taxes. They believe there is a group of people who make too much 22

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money, are not paying their fair share, and that our job is to take money from them. I will confess to you that this is a position that enjoys some popular appeal in America. After all, even most people making $250,000 per year don’t consider themselves to be rich. When you think of rich, you think of billionaires—real billionaires and multi-millionaires—and so there is some appeal, from the public prospective, to make people who are making a lot of money pay more. There is also the belief, although I think it is less significant, that the way you grow your economy is through the government. If the government just spent a little bit more money, and if we have more programs to do certain things, somehow the economy would grow. That’s one school of

Address at the 2011 National Conservative Student Conference ––––––––––––––————––––——–—––––––––––––––––– Senator Marco Rubio –––––––––––––––––—————————––––––––––––––––

thought about how to approach it. Now, the people and Americans who believe that are no less patriotic than any of us, but their theory stands in sharp contrast with what I believe has made us great up to this point. That is the second thought process. It is the idea that, yes, we need more revenues, but that revenue shouldn’t come from more taxes. It should come from new tax payers. It should come from growth in the economy, and it’s a simple equation. If more people are working, more people are paying taxes. If more people are paying taxes, more money is being generated for your government to pay down its debt. But if you use that additional revenue to simply grow your government, you’re not solving anything. And so, the second part of the equation has to be that we limit the growth of spending. Yes, that means looking at discretionary spending— the amount of money that we spend on a yearly basis on different programs that are not required by law. That’s a small sliver of our overall budget. The truth is that this big growth and spending is on programs like Medicare, which, by the way, will cease to exist if we don’t reform them. If we want to save them, we have to reform them. There is another thing I would tell you. History teaches us that—I don’t care who’s in charge, conservatives or liberals— that if you let politicians spend money that they don’t have, they will do it. If the choices are between spending money they don’t

have or cutting spending, they will spend money they don’t have. And that’s why we need spending caps on the balanced budget amendment. All but one state in this country have that. …There are two things that our government can do right now to reinvigorate the American economy. One is tax reform. And that is not just a simple tax increase. It is simplifying our tax code—making it simple and flat and fair. The government does not use the tax system to pick winners and pick losers. It uses it to generate revenues for government, but in a way that does not destroy job creation. Job creators are begging for a tax code that’s simple and certain. The second thing the government can do is regulatory reform. I cannot exaggerate how onerous this administration’s decisions and regulations have been. Every single day in Washington, D.C., regulations and rules are being written that are literally destroying jobs in America. They are trying to accomplish, through rule-making and unelected agencies, what they cannot accomplish through the political process—be it environmental policy or union labor policy. They are creating an environment in America through a complicated tax code and onerous regulations that are making it a less desirable place to do business. In fact, when people are willing to tell you that it is easier to do business in Communist China than it is in the United States of America, you know you’re heading in the wrong direction. Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Winter 2012


Address at the 2011 National Conservative Student Conference ––––––––––––––————––––——–—––––––––––––––––– Senator Marco Rubio –––––––––––––––––—————————––––––––––––––––

you have to give And so, for us, up—primarily your the equation is economic freedoms. simple: grow your You literally give up economy and limit your ability to open your spending, and up a business in if we could do that, the spare bedroom these issues will of your home. You become a lot easier give up the ability to manage. That’s to draw a business the debate. plan on the back These are two of a napkin and very different max-out your credit views of the role card and open up of government in a business because America. These are you believe so much very different views Senator Rubio’s address is broadcast live on C-SPAN, reaching more than 100 million in this idea. of where we should homes nationwide. Much of the be as a nation, and world has chosen that economic model, and they seemed between those two views, there’s very little middle ground. relatively happy until recently when even Europe figured And when people talk about compromise, I’m not against out that even their high taxes and high regulation could not it, but compromise has to be a solution. If the compromise sustain what they had created. is not a solution, you’re wasting people’s time. We’re not But what you give up is the vibrancy deciding whether we’re going to have six of the American economy. And I think judges versus twelve, or whether or not “This generation of America what Reagan had argued, and what we we should name a post office after this guy instead of that guy.  wants it both ways. We have should argue today, is that’s fine for the rest of the world to choose [to live in] This is a fundamental difference of to choose. Do we want to places where the government gives you opinion about what kind of government continue to be the country certain economic results. we want to have, and the answer to that There are so many places in the question will determine what kind of that our parents knew—the world you can move to. But there country we have—for your generation singular exceptional place?” should be at least one country on earth and beyond. where you can open up a business You see, much of the world has in the spare bedroom of your home. chosen to have governments that There should be at least one country on are very much involved in their earth where you should be able to open up a business after economic lives. I will confess this is kind of a simplistic drawing a business plan on the back of a cocktail napkin. view, but I think it is an accurate one nonetheless. Much There should be at least one country on earth where a of the world has chosen to have a government very active worker can become an owner and where an employee can in their economic lives, and that means the government become an employer. guarantees all sorts of things. There should be at least one nation on earth where these But in exchange for those guarantees, there are things 24

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Address at the 2011 National Conservative Student Conference ––––––––––––––————––––——–—––––––––––––––––– Senator Marco Rubio –––––––––––––––––—————————––––––––––––––––

things are possible, and for the last 230 or so years, that country has been the United States. We shouldn’t change that now. Behind the noise of the debt debate, that is really what we are arguing about, and as divided as Washington is, so is America. This generation of America wants it both ways. We have to choose. Do we want to continue to be the country that our parents knew—the singular exceptional place? Or are we prepared to become another country, just like everybody else—still rich, still powerful, still important—but no longer exceptional? That is the choice. That is the debate. I know it is sometimes scary to think, “Wow. Well, why not become like everybody else? Why do we have to continue to be the leading this or the leading that?” My answer to you is that I am not sure I want to live in a world where America is not the America you knew. I am

not sure I’m prepared to raise my kids in a world where America’s light is extinguished and new lights take their place. I am not sure if the world would be better off if America were to be diminished and other nations that are on the rise were to increase. Who would live and speak out on behalf of the values of liberty and freedom? After all, the liberties and freedom we’ve known are largely the exception rather than the rules of human history. The idea that somehow people could govern themselves was almost unheard of up until 200 and some years ago, and even in much of the world now, people still scoff at it. Who will speak on behalf of these principles? The idea that, somehow you don’t have to be born in the right family in order to succeed…. Who will serve as a living, breathing example [of these principles]? You see, all over the world, even people that don’t like America admire Americans because they see someone just

Students enjoy the question and answer session with Senator Rubio following his speech. Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Winter 2012


Address at the 2011 National Conservative Student Conference ––––––––––––––————––––——–—––––––––––––––––– Senator Marco Rubio –––––––––––––––––—————————––––––––––––––––

things that made us like them who great in our past, is able to do in our future will be America what they greater than our are not able to do in history. their own country. There are more That’s what sets us people on earth apart. That’s what than ever before America has been that will be able to for more than 200 afford to buy the years. things that you These other invent and you countries that are build. There are emerging around more people than the world and ever before around pulling their people the world that will out of poverty Jon Salazar from Folsom Lake College in California meets Senator Rubio after his be our partners— are not doing it address at the 2011 National Conservative Student Conference. economically and by embracing diplomatically and culturally. There are more opportunities socialism. They are doing it by embracing the market, and than ever before for Americans to sell our goods and the more they embrace the principles we stood for, the more services—if only we stop moving in the wrong direction prosperity they find. and embrace what has brought us to this point. If America stops being America, what nation of people This is the great challenge of on earth is prepared to take our place? leadership of this generation which you There is no one. There is no other “We understand the hard will fully inherit, and I encourage you country. There is nowhere else to go. work and sacrifices that lie to be fully involved. The decisions we’re This is the debate: will we continue making will determine what America to be that kind of country, or are we ahead, but we still choose will look like forever. prepared to be the first Americans to to be great. We still choose That’s how dramatic are the choices allow our country to be diminished? we are about to make, and I hope The work you do and what you’re to be special; we still choose that, in the months that lie ahead and involved with is about that. This is no to stand apart; and we still throughout 2012, the American people longer an ideological or intellectual argument about big government versus choose to inspire the world.” will speak with a very simple and clear voice. small government, conservatives versus We’ve seen the two choices. We liberals. This is literally a decision understand the hard work and sacrifices about our identity as a people and as a nation. That is what we’re deciding, and we will have to make that lie ahead, but we still choose to be great. We still choose to be special; we still choose to stand apart; and we still a decision faster than any other generation before us. The choose to inspire the world. I hope you will be a part of that world moves faster than it ever has. as well. Thank you. So that’s the great challenge of our time, and I find it to be exciting. Here’s why: I believe that, if we embrace the 26

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9/11: Ne ver Forget Project

September 11, 2011

Eva Kilpper places a flag in the ground of the 9/11: Never Forget Project memorial on West Beach in Santa Barbara, California. The display was organized by students at the University of California, Santa Barbara and the local Tea Party activists.

Ten Years Later: S Campuses Nationwide

Participate in the 9/11: Never Forget Project By Patrick X. Coyle, Vice President

ince 2003, Young America’s Foundation’s 9/11: Never Forget Project has helped college and high school students lead efforts on their campuses to remember those murdered by radical jihadists on September 11, 2001. This program encourages students to set up flag memorials consisting of 2,977 American flags to remember each person killed in the terrorist attacks. For the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the Foundation worked with a record

Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Winter 2012


9/11: Ne ver Forget Project

September 11, 2011

Sarah Telle addresses Marshall County elementary school students on the importance of remembering the lives lost on September 11, 2011.

Sarah Telle (right) and Melissa Combs (left), director of emergency services in Marshall County, stand near the 9/11: Never Forget Project display Telle created and brought to all ten public schools in Marshall County.

number of students, supplying them with resources, materials, and support for Never Forget efforts on more than 270 campuses nationwide. From California to New York to Florida, students organized flag memorials, vigils, and other programs to remember the lives lost on 9/11. Sarah Telle, YAF chapter chair at Marshall County High School in Kentucky, took the project to a new level by bringing the Never Forget Project to all the schools in her county during the two weeks leading up to the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Telle attended the Foundation’s 2011 National High School Leadership 28

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Elementary school students place flags in Foundation activist Sarah Telle’s Never Forget memorial.

Conference and was inspired to make sure today’s students­—many of whom were not even born ten years ago—understand what happened on September 11, 2001. “After the conference, I really wanted to take part in the 9/11: Never Forget Project, but my community is rural, and I knew a lot of people wouldn’t get to see it,” explained Telle. “I discussed the program with the other [conservative club] officers, and we decided to take the program to all ten public schools in the county.” Telle said she wanted her project to reach and teach as many students about 9/11 as possible. “We also

wanted each student and teacher to place a flag into the memorial to represent one of the victims,” she noted. Telle and her club leaders met with the principals from all ten schools, and they were all supportive and excited about the program.  Local businesses contributed as well, helping Telle cover the cost of the materials for her Never Forget Project display, and high school students volunteered to help paint her large 9/11 memorial. The young leader’s efforts paid off when she brought the display and speakers to each school in Marshall County. In addition to the large flag

9/11: Ne ver Forget Project

September 11, 2011

Students at Mississippi Gulf Coast College make their 9/11: Never Forget display permanent by arranging for a stone memorial to be erected on campus grounds.

display, Telle’s moving presentation included a video and speeches from local emergency responders who either read firsthand accounts from 9/11 or explained why they served their community. Sadly, not every school district or campus was as welcoming to the 9/11: Never Forget Project, but the Left’s negative reaction to the project is not surprising when we remember how campus leftists responded to the attacks in the days following September 11, 2001. Professors led radical left-wing students in campaigns against America’s sacred institutions of free enterprise and

civic duty, and student columnists were serving as daily catalysts for antiAmerican rhetoric. Evergreen State College Professor Larry Mosqueda wrote, “If we multiply by 800 to 1000 times the amount of pain, angst and anger being currently felt by the American public, we might begin to understand how much of the rest of the world feels, as they are continually victimized [by the United States].”  David Horn, a student writing for the Michigan Daily at the University of Michigan, presumed that the United States deserved to be attacked, stating, “ … [T]he actions taken by

the terrorists on Tuesday are not completely unwarranted.  We try to forget about the way this country behaves internationally—that we, too, often behave as terrorists.” Unfortunately, ten years later, many on the Left continue their malicious efforts to distort the realities of what happened on September 11. Instead of properly remembering those murdered by radical jihadists, liberal campus administrators do all they can to ban the Never Forget Project from their campuses. At Northern Arizona University, school adminsitrators ordered students who were handing out

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9/11: Ne ver Forget Project

September 11, 2011

Fox News interviews Foundation activist Sarah Snow from Marietta College on the challenges she faced while organizing the 9/11: Never Forget Project on campus.

Members of the University of Michigan’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps take part in a moving 9/11: Never Forget Project ceremony.

Students and staff at Newfane High School in western New York create a flag display in memory of those murdered on September 11, 2001.

Students at Columbia Independent School in Missouri remember the 2,977 innocent victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

American flags and 9/11: Never Forget Project materials to vacate a student building. Without reason, Marietta College in Ohio originally denied student Sarah Snow’s request for a candlelight vigil as part of her Never Forget Project. Under pressure, the administrators eventually allowed the vigil and a flag memorial but with one major caveat: the memorial had to include flags of the other countries from which citizens died during the attacks. The Foundation exposed the school’s unnecessary efforts to thwart the project, and the story was quickly picked up by the national media. 30

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Snow was interviewed on Fox and Friends, and U.S. News and World Report, Fox,,, Human Events, and Glenn Beck’s The Blaze also covered the story. Snow says she wanted to bring the project to Marietta College because many of her fellow peers are now only learning about September 11 from their textbooks. “Young people don’t think about all the people who died that day and about how 9/11 changed America,” she explained.   After the program, parents and teachers approached Snow to thank her for her efforts.  “Children went

home and told their parents all about the events of September 11,” noted Snow.  “That was an amazing blessing: to know that students were not only listening but thinking about what they heard about in the program.” Young America’s Foundation is grateful to all of the students who participated in the 2011 Never Forget Project, and we thank our supporters who sponsored this important program, ensuring today’s young people never forget those murdered ten years ago.

Emerald Isles Cruise

Meese, Rove, Williams, Reitzell, and Hayward Sail with Foundation Supporters By Nicole Hoplin, Director of Foundation Relations

Foundation supporters enjoy an 11-day cruise around the Emerald Isles during the 100th anniversary year of Ronald Reagan’s birth.


n 1984, President Ronald Reagan made a special trip overseas to see his ancestral homeland. To mark the occasion, he commented on his Irish roots:

Of all the honors and gifts that have been afforded me as President, this visit [to Ballyporeen] is the one that I will cherish dearly. You see, I didn’t know much about my family background—not because of a lack of interest, but because my father was orphaned before he was 6 years old. And now thanks to you and the efforts of good people who have dug into the history of a poor immigrant family, I know at last whence I came. And this has given my soul a new contentment. And it is a joyous feeling. It is like coming home after a long journey…I can’t think of a place on the planet I would rather claim as my roots more than Ballyporeen, County Tipperary. The local residents of Ballyporeen, Ireland, wouldn’t forget that day. So seared in their memories was Ronald Reagan’s time spent in the small, close-knit community, that the villagers were eager to relive those hours—more than 25 years later—for supporters of the Reagan Ranch. From July 22 to August 2, Young America’s Foundation’s annual cruise visited Ireland, England, Scotland, Supporters Anthony and Andrea Bryant visit the cemetery near Ballyporeen, Ireland, where Ronald Reagan’s great-grandfather is buried in an unmarked grave. Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Winter 2012


and the Channel Islands. While docked in Waterford, Ireland, the group traveled by coach to the tiny town in Tipperary County. In honor of this visit, the community proudly hung the Stars and Stripes outside its Reagan Centre to welcome the group and hosted a luncheon of Irish stew, desserts, and brew. Retracing Reagan’s steps in 1984, the group visited the Parish Church to see the baptismal font used to christen Ronald Reagan’s great-grandfather, Michael Regan, in 1829; the Ronald Reagan Centre which houses memorabilia from Reagan’s visit; and the remains of Templetenny Church and Graveyard near Doolis where Michael Regan is buried in an unmarked grave. The local paper, the Avondhu, ran a story about the day: “This happy band of Reagan devotees were in no doubt but that Ballyporeen had provided the highlight of their

voyage.” Even these words hardly portray just how special and meaningful the day was for the travelers. The cruise program also included other speakers and activities. In Edinburgh, the group toured sites important in the history of famed economist Adam Smith’s life. During a luncheon at the City Chambers hosted by former member of the Scottish Parliament and YAF alumnus Brian Monteith, historian Gavin Kennedy told the group, “There’s never a time when governments haven’t wanted to spend.”

Col. John Reitzell, a member of the Foundation’s campus lecture program, addresses fellow Foundation friends and supporters during one of the many “Seminars at Sea” scheduled throughout the 2011 cruise.


Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Winter 2012

Expanding on this topic, economist Dr. Walter Williams spoke about the federal government’s role in society saying, “The immorality of the federal government is taking what a man produces and giving it to another man.” Seminar sessions also focused on Ronald Reagan’s role in history thanks to remarks by Churchill and Reagan biographer Steven Hayward and 75th U.S. Attorney General

Members of the Foundation’s leadership present the citizens of Ballyporeen, Ireland, with framed pictures of the Irish artifacts at the Reagan Ranch. (Pictured from right: Vice President and Reagan Ranch Director Andrew Coffin; Reagan Ranch Board of Governors members Richard Schwartz, Jane Schwartz, and Eric Hoplin; and Foundation President Ron Robinson.

Supporters Johnny and Pam Zamrzla enjoy a stop at the Guinness Storehouse while at port in Dublin, Ireland.

Supporters Barbara and Roger Kohn explore the Reagan-related sites around Ballyporeen, Ireland—Ronald Reagan’s ancestral home. Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Winter 2012


Ed Meese. Meese summarized Ronald Reagan’s success: “Reagan’s optimism brought hope to the American people.” As the cruise took place during the heated debt ceiling debate, pundit and author Karl Rove provided updates on the behind-the-scenes negotiations in Washington. He also spoke about the importance of the Reagan Ranch: “Around the country kids tell me, ‘I’ve been to the Reagan Ranch and it changed my life.’ [The Ranch] gives them a chance to touch history. It gives them a chance to—in a moment—get a glimpse of a great man who stood astride the 20th century in a profound way. That changes them.” Foundation President Ron Robinson, Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute President Michelle Easton, popular Foundation campus lecturer Col. John Reitzell, Reagan Ranch Director Andrew Coffin, and Reagan Ranch Board of Governors member Eric Hoplin also provided remarks to the travelers on board. One traveler and a long-time supporter of Young America’s Foundation called the experience “a once-in-alifetime, uplifting, grand adventure!” That is just the goal of Young America’s Foundation’s annual cruise—to provide camaraderie, optimism, and engaging discussions for all those who want to travel with like-minded friends and family.

(Above) Ursula Meese and Attorney General Ed Meese (pictured left), join Foundation supporters for a walk through the Irish town where Ronald Reagan’s greatgrandfather was born. (Right) Reagan Ranch Board of Governors members Eric and Nicole Hoplin explore the streets of Edinburgh, Scotland.

2012 Annual Cruise Young America’s Foundation’s 2012 annual cruise will take place August 8 to 15 from Vancouver, Canada, to Anchorage, Alaska, on board Regent’s Seven Seas Navigator. Cruise speakers include #1 New York Times best-selling spy novelist Brad Thor, journalist and documentary filmmaker Ann McElhinney, 75th U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, Foundation President Ron Robinson, and Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute President Michelle Easton. Please contact Nicole Hoplin at 800-USA-1776 or for details. (See page 35 for more information.)

(Above) Economist and popular Foundation speaker Dr. Walter Williams converses with historian Gavin Kennedy—an expert on Adam Smith who addressed Foundation supporters during a special lunch in Edinburgh.


Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Winter 2012

Foundation friends and supporters spend a day at Windsor Castle during a special precruise excursion near London.

Meet Ronald Reagan at his ranch


to an exclusive weekend getaway at Ronald Reagan’s mountaintop home, Rancho del Cielo, in Santa Barbara, California. You will be joined by an intimate group of six other couples from around the country for a weekend experience hosted by Young America’s Foundation President Ron Robinson and his wife, Michelle Easton.

When you arrive in Santa Barbara, your every need will be met based on an all-inclusive price including:

• Complimentary transportation to the Biltmore Four Seasons Resort (from Santa Barbara airport) • Reagan Ranch Roundtable Luncheon featuring a notable conservative leader • Two-night, five-star accommodations at the historic, oceanfront Biltmore Four Seasons Resort • VIP visit experience at Ronald Reagan’s “Western White House,” Rancho del Cielo. • Behind-the-scenes tour of the Reagan Ranch Center and Exhibit Gallery • All meals including two luncheons, two receptions, two dinners, and a full breakfast • Trolley tour of historic, downtown Santa Barbara including the 19th Century Santa Barbara Mission


cho d el

• •

You are cordially invited

C ie l o

retreat Dates

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National Security, Patriotism, and the Next Generation An Interview with Bestselling Author Brad Thor By Jessica Jensen, Editor

Brad Thor is a #1 New York Times bestselling author who has been called “the master of thrillers.” His page-turning novels, described “as current as tomorrow’s headlines,” parallel the real threats facing the world today, making Thor a soughtafter speaker on the topic of terrorism and national security. Thor addressed Young America’s Foundation’s Reagan 100 Celebration Weekend in early 2011 and will be a speaker on our 2012 Alaskan Cruise (see page 35). We thank him and his wife for their continued involvement in our programs. Brad Thor’s writing truly underscores the importance of protecting freedom and American values, and we are excited to feature this interview with him in Libertas. 36

Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Winter 2012

Full Black, Brad Thor’s newest book, quickly rose to the top of the New York Times best-seller list.

Libertas: Who influenced your values and beliefs as a young person? —————————————————————————— Brad Thor: The greatest influence on my values and beliefs as a young person was my parents. They set strong examples for me of entrepreneurship and hard work. I was instilled with a love of country and informed patriotism. I understood that I had been born into the greatest nation in the world and that all things were possible if I worked hard and worked smart. Libertas: What do you enjoy most about your writing career? —————————————————————————— BT: I enjoy the freedom. I enjoy the freedom to develop and market my own ideas. I enjoy the thrill of succeeding or failing based upon those ideas. I enjoy making a living from creatively expressing my first amendment right.

Unlike Judaism and Christianity, Islam has never been through a reformation. It also is not simply a religion; it is a totalitarian ideology that encompasses both the secular and the religious spheres. In Islam, there is no separation between mosque and state. The reformist Muslims are looking to cleave away the Islamists’ political influence. It is a noble and worthwhile goal. It is a goal worth pursuing and one that should be fully supported by the West. We need to realize that many so-called “moderate” Muslims who claim to speak for the Islamic Diaspora are often anything but moderate. They can be wolves in sheep’s clothing— apologists—all too willing to point the finger anywhere else but at themselves. When we give them elevated status, allow them to speak on behalf of all Muslims, we stifle the reformers. This is something we can no longer allow to happen.

Libertas: For those who have not yet read your books, which would you recommend for them to read first? —————————————————————————— BT: That’s simple: Full Black. The plot of Full Black is unfolding right on America’s doorstep right now. Not only will you get a white knuckle, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride, you will close the book with a whole different perspective vis-à-vis what’s going on in our country right now and the forces aligned against it. Libertas: Where do you get the inspiration and ideas for your characters—both the good and the bad guys? —————————————————————————— BT: The inspirations come from two different places. The inspiration for the good guys comes from people around me whom I know, respect, and admire. The bad guys are almost always based upon real people in the news who hold a deep hatred for America. With both categories of characters, I often take a certain amount of creative license. Sometimes I dial up their personalities, and sometimes I dial them down. As Mark Twain once said, “The difference between fiction and reality is that people expect fiction to make sense.” Libertas: In a Reader’s Digest interview, you were asked about your focus on Islam in your novels. You said, “I write about the real world.” In your research for your books, what have you learned about radical Islam that has most alarmed you? —————————————————————————— BT: This is a really tough question, as there are several facets of Islam that pose significant challenges for Muslims and the rest of the world. We focus rightly on the Islamists who are using the Koran, the Hadith, etc. to justify violence in the name of Islam, but the West makes the mistake of searching for so-called “moderate” Muslims to partner with in order to defeat the Islamists. Instead, we should be teaming with reformist Muslims.

Brad Thor and his wife, Trish Palmer, meet Governor Sarah Palin while participating in the Foundation’ s Reagan 100 Celebration Weekend at the Reagan Ranch Center.

Libertas: Most of today’s college freshmen were around eight years old on September 11, 2001. As we remember those murdered by radical jihadists more than ten years ago, what do you think we can do to make sure that today’s young people comprehend, and never forget, the events of that tragic day? —————————————————————————— BT: The Left is trying to water down the meaning of 9/11. They want to turn it into an annual “Day of Service.” It is, and should always be, a day of remembrance. The people who are truly conducting a “day of service” every 9/11 are our brave men and women in the military and intelligence communities who are out killing Islamic terrorists on our behalf. We need to remind our young people that not only was a terrible attack perpetrated upon our country, but in addition Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Winter 2012


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Brad Thor explores President Reagan’s adobe ranch home during the 100th anniversary of the President’s birth. (Pictured from left: Rochelle Schweizer, Brad Thor, Foundation Director Peter Schweizer, Trish Palmer, and Foundation Director Wynton Hall.)

to the lives lost, we also saw many of our liberties curtailed. The repercussions of the attack carried well beyond 2001 and can still be felt today. This is also an important part of why we should remember 9/11 and how it affects all of us—even those who were children at the time of the attack. Libertas: What can we do to ensure that today’s young people develop the same love of country and patriotism portrayed by many of the characters in your books? —————————————————————————— BT: Students need to understand that political correctness is a shield cowards use to hide behind. There has never been a greater force for freedom and goodness in the world than the United States. Look at history. The history of mankind is tyranny—the many being ruled by the few. Our founders turned that model completely upside down. Instead of being ruled over, we rule ourselves. And, to paraphrase the words of President Reagan as to why we have achieved so much and prospered as no other people on earth, it is because, by assuring the freedom and dignity of the individual, we unleashed the energy and individual genius of man to a greater extent than has ever been done before. That is what makes us exceptional. Are we perfect? No. We are human and therefore fallible. We still make mistakes, but there has never been anything that even comes close


Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Winter 2012

to the beauty, the goodness, and the limitless potential for prosperity and success than America. Libertas: In an interview, you said that Ronald Reagan is a historical figure “with whom you most identify.” What do you admire most about Ronald Reagan? —————————————————————————— BT: Where should I start? I admire Reagan’s unabashed patriotism and love of America. I admire his candor and his wit. I admire his understanding of America as founded and what he stood for. I admire his sense of humor and his ability to make even his opponents laugh. Libertas: We were honored to host you and your wife at the Reagan Ranch earlier this year. What most surprised you about your visit to Rancho del Cielo? What did you enjoy the most? —————————————————————————— BT: What surprised me the most, and I think it has surprised a lot of people, was how humble the Ranch is. Ronald Reagan was the most powerful man in the world, and he strove to spend all of his free time in a small ranch house. What I enjoyed the most about the Ranch was the feeling of having connected with President Reagan. I understood even more about him. The Reagan Ranch is the Monticello, the Mount Vernon of our times. It is truly remarkable and truly

inspiring. It is an experience I am very honored to have had.

About Brad Thor

Libertas: What other publications or books would you recommend that today’s young people read? —————————————————————————— BT: I think Glenn Beck has done a terrific job of making the complicated policy and economic problems of our day really easy to understand. Arguing with Idiots and Broke are terrific, and I highly recommend them. I also recommend Beck’s Common Sense and The Original Argument. In the blogosphere, visit, HumanEvents. com,,, AmericanThinker. com,, and

Brad Thor is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Full Black, Foreign Influence, The Apostle, The Last Patriot (which is banned in Saudi Arabia), The First Commandment, Takedown, Blowback, State of the Union, Path of the Assassin, The Lions of Lucerne, and his New York Times bestselling spin-off series The Athena Project. Brad is a member of Glenn Beck TV (GBTV) and has appeared on Fox News Channel, CNN, CNN Headline News, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS programs to discuss terrorism, as well as how closely his novels of international intrigue parallel the real threats facing the world today. Brad has served as a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s Analytic Red Cell Unit, and is a fellow of the Alexandrian Defense Group. He also sits on the International Free Press Society’s Board of Advisors and has served as a judge for the Sam Adams Alliance Annual Awards. In 2008, Brad shadowed a black ops team in Afghanistan to research his thriller, The Apostle. Brad graduated cum laude from the University of Southern California where he studied creative writing, film, and television production. He is an active supporter of the USO, Disabled American Veterans, the Wounded Warrior Project, the Yellow Ribbon Fund, and the Salvation Army.

Libertas: Can you share with our readers what your next book is about? —————————————————————————— BT: Full Black dealt with a lot of the forces trying to collapse the country from within. There’s a few I didn’t get to that I’d like to tackle in the new book. To find out who and what they are, you’ll have to wait until this summer when Black List is released.

For more information, visit BradThor. com. You can also follow Brad Thor on Twitter (@bradthor) and on Facebook.

Libertas: Of today’s conservative leaders, whom do you most admire? —————————————————————————— BT: There’s a whole host of people I admire and whom I consider leaders. They all fall into different categories—each one important for the message they deliver and the people they reach. In the policy arena, I admire Governor Sarah Palin and Senators Marco Rubio, Jim DeMint, and Rick Santorum. In the media, I deeply admire my good friend Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham, Hugh Hewitt, Rush Limbaugh, and Mark Levin. In the blogosphere, I very much admire Michelle Malkin, Monica Crowley, Mark Steyn, Peter Schweizer, Guy Benson, Erick Erickson, Andrew Klavan, Jim Hoft, and Ed Morrissey. Libertas: What advice do you have for young people aspiring to be successful writers? —————————————————————————— BT: To be even a moderately successful writer, you have to be a great reader. Read, read, read. Then make sure you take some time to get out and experience life—really experience it. I think Thoreau said it best when he stated, “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” And, when you do sit down to write, make sure you ignore the number one piece of advice young writers are given: write what you know. That’s ridiculous. If it were true, we never would have gotten Tom Clancy; he was selling insurance. [Harry Potter author] JK Rowling was a mother on the dole. There was no Hogwarts she could jet off to in order to learn about wizards and Quidditch. Write what you feel compelled to write about. You’ll often find the genre you’re best suited to write in is the same genre you love to read.

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A lumni

P r o f il e

Top Activist Begins Media Career with the Sean Hannity Radio Show By Yasmin Tadjdeh, National Journalism Center Alumnus

Imagine waking up before dawn and hopping on a train from New York City to Washington, D.C., every Friday. It was an arduous routine, but it was one that Lauren Scirocco never regretted. Scirocco, a National Journalism Center (NJC) intern in the spring of 2009, was working at the Sean Hannity Radio Show in New York City. She interned three days per week in New York, and each Friday, Scirocco traveled from New York City’s Penn Station to Union Station in Washington, D.C., where she would spend the day listening to speakers and participating in training seminars with fellow NJC interns. Scirocco recalled listening to Hannity’s show as a child and teenager with her siblings when her mother picked them up from school, so when she was offered an internship with the radio show, she was fulfilling a lifelong aspiration. “It was a dream come true,” said Scirocco, “I grew up listening to [Sean Hannity’s] show, and talk radio has always been a big part of my life.” Scirocco first heard of the National Journalism Center after attending Young America’s Foundation 2008 National Conservative Student Conference. She greatly enjoyed the program and knew she would appreciate working at NJC—a project of Young America’s Foundation. In addition to her success with NJC, Scirocco was also one of the Foundation’s top campus activists, participating in campus initiatives, including the 9/11: Never Forget Project, and hosting conservative speakers, including Ann Coulter, on her campus. She also visited the Reagan Ranch during the Foundation’s annual Club 100 retreat for top campus activists. Through her internships, Scirocco continued to be a voice for conservatism in the media where she says the liberal minority has a disproportionally strong voice throughout the country and through many different mediums. “Every day, we are bombarded with a strong presence of liberal ideology on television and in the news, in Hollywood and in our education system. There is a terrible disconnect between the media and real America. I hope to help lessen that disparity,” said Scirocco. After finishing her internship with NJC, Scirocco interned at the Mark Levin Show during the summer of 2009. The next summer she served as a Sarah T. Hermann Intern Scholar at the Foundation’s national headquarters, and in 2011, Scirocco 40

Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Winter 2012

Young America’s Foundation and National Journalism Center alumna Lauren Scirocco addresses students attending the Foundation’s 2010 National Conservative Student Conference in Washington, D.C.

Scirocco interviews Stephen Baldwin (left) and Kevin McCullough (right).

Lauren Scirocco visits Rancho del Cielo during the Foundation’s annual Club 100 retreat for top campus activists.

interned at the G. Gordon Liddy Show at Radio America. While her list of internships is impressive, Scirocco admits it has not been all glitz and glamour. Her internships required hard work and tasks that many might find mundane, but Scirocco knows that is part of the job. She says all interns would do well to remember it. “Never act as though anything you’re asked to do is beneath you….I think it’s important to have a good attitude about it…” Scirocco noted. Her dedication and work ethic have undoubtedly paid off. Following her internship with G. Gordon Liddy, Scirocco learned of an opening at the Sean Hannity Radio Show. She quickly applied and was hired as the associate producer and call screener for the program. She also works on prepping for the show as well as booking guests. “It’s great working for someone and something you believe in….I also love being able to speak with [Hannity’s] listeners. They are some of the most patriotic and passionate people I’ve ever encountered,” said Scirocco. Scirocco says her involvement with Young America’s Foundation and the National Journalism Center has played a tremendous role in her life. “If it weren’t for YAF and NJC, my college experience would be very different, and I know I would not be where I am today,” she explained. “I had the opportunity to provide a voice for conservatism on my campus, and I am forever grateful for that.” 

Lauren Scirocco interviews Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney as part of a journalism class.

Scirocco (fourth from left) visits the Pentagon’s press briefing room during her National Journalism Center internship in 2009. Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Winter 2012


“Dark Horse” Marines Welcomed Home at the Reagan Ranch By Caroline Rushing, Development Officer


n the words of President Reagan, “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don’t have that problem.” On September 8, 2011, the 3rd Battalion 5th Marines, also known as the Dark Horse Marines, were welcomed to the Reagan Ranch Center by an image of President Ronald Reagan, arm raised in salute. The Navy League of Santa Barbara, along with Young America’s Foundation, hosted a “Welcome Home!” weekend for the Marines and their families. The 3/5 Marine Battalion returned to Camp Pendleton in April after spending seven months in the Sangin district of Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. This Battalion suffered one of the highest military losses in Afghanistan, with 25 Marines killed and more than 200 injured by the time of their return—making their homecoming even more poignant. The Marines kicked off their Santa Barbara weekend at the Reagan Ranch Center where they were greeted by Foundation staff, Navy League members, and several weekend host families.  “Of all the weekends to host the

Marines here, to honor their service, that weekend, the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, was a particularly good weekend to do so,” noted Reagan Ranch Director Andrew Coffin. “It’s their service, their fighting in the front lines, that’s kept our country safe for the past ten years.” The Marines began their visit by viewing the Foundation’s film, Still Point in a Turning World: Ronald Reagan and His Ranch, and touring the Reagan Ranch Center. Following their time at the Center, more than 80 Marines and their family members were transported to President Reagan’s beloved Rancho del Cielo. The group spent the afternoon exploring President Reagan’s beautiful property, wandering through the house and tack barn, and taking in the beautiful vistas as Foundation staff shared stories of the President’s time at the Ranch.  The afternoon also included a barbecue lunch on the front lawn. While at the Ranch, Actor Dean Cain from Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, as well as John Barletta—President Reagan’s close friend and Secret Service agent—

Members of the 3rd Battalion 5th Marines are welcomed to the Reagan Ranch Center.

spoke to the soldiers and their families. Barletta told of his time serving the President and offered words of appreciation for the sacrifices that the Dark Horse Marines and their families have made to protect our freedom. Cain offered a gracious message of thanks and encouragement.  He ended by quoting President Reagan, underscoring all that these brave soldiers have already done for our great nation. “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.  We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream.  It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

Members of the 3rd Battalion 5th Marines and their families spend a day at the Reagan Ranch during a special “Welcome Home” weekend in Santa Barbara, California.


Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Winter 2012

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Vancouver to Anchorage (Seward) Regent Seven Seas Navigator – August 8 to 15, 2012 Do you want to visit Alaska and hear from high profile conservative leaders? Enjoy the company of like-minded conservative friends as you travel to one of the world’s most spectacular scenic areas. Whether you are an avid traveler, news junkie, casually interested citizen, or anywhere in between, this trip is for you! You’ll have the flexibility you want while in port with the added bonus of distinctive talks from leading conservatives while at sea. These discussions will keep your mind stimulated by the latest news in public policy. “All-inclusive” rates include FREE airfare, FREE shore excursions, a FREE luxury hotel package, FREE beverages including wine and spirits, FREE ground transfers, FREE gratuities, FREE room service, all gourmet meals, FREE on-demand movies, and all seminars-at-sea. Rates start at $5,806/person for a window suite. Book now to ensure your choice stateroom!

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Young America’s Foundation | Libertas magazine |


Winter 2012 Volume 33 • Number 1

National Headquarters F.M. Kirby Freedom Center 110 Elden Street Herndon, Virginia 20170 800-USA-1776 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED


ore than 100 students from 25 states travel to Washington, D.C., for Young America’s Foundation’s National High School Leadership Conference to learn how to advance freedom and defend our nation’s founding principles.

Libertas 33.1  

The official publication of Young America's Foundation.