News Category: LI's Conservative Leaders

Bachmann’s Press Sec – LI Grad Goes to Capitol Hill
Bachmann’s Press Sec – LI Grad Goes to Capitol Hill

Be the change you want to see.

As press secretary for Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Mikayla Hall is doing just that.

Mikayla’s earliest political memory is of accidentally voting for Bill Clinton in 1996 during a mock election at her elementary school. 

“I went home and cried because I thought my fake vote made him win,” she said.

Born in Minnesota, Mikayla also considers Washington state one of her home states, having spent a decade in both. 

While studying Communication at the University of Washington, Mikayla joined Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) as a freshman after being recruited by a Leadership Institute (LI) field rep.  Eventually, she became YAL’s first Northwest Regional Director, organizing students in 10 states.

“LI is a toolkit.  You can use its material to build yourself the steps to a career in politics, with opportunities to practice through their internship and field program,” she said.

Serving to Protect the Last Best Hope for Mankind
Serving to Protect the Last Best Hope for Mankind

For Army veteran Larry Provost, the call to action, “Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country” was all it took for him to feel the need to get involved.

This military veteran wasn’t always a conservative.  In fact, his mother was liberal.  It wasn’t until Ronald Reagan became president in the 1980’s that Larry began to see what conservatism was really about.

“As time went on I saw that, on an overall scale, government policies were hurting, and slowly, almost imperceptibly, taking away the dignity, freedoms, and prosperity of the very people they were supposed to help.  Reagan was the first President I remember, and he shaped my idea of what a President could be,” Larry said.

In addition to his previous work in the U.S. Army, Larry also serves as an advisor to several conservative groups, and as a Chaplain for the American Legion in Washington, DC.

His enthusiasm for helping the conservative movement is something to be admired.  Larry battles the left by contributing to conservative blogging sites like  Many of his articles share his view on what makes this country great and how to preserve it.

The ‘Viral Genius’ Journalist
The ‘Viral Genius’ Journalist

He lives in New York City, grew up on the West Coast, and went to college in California, but Oliver Darcy isn’t your typical liberal journalist – he works for Glenn Beck.

“Oliver Darcy is a viral – twitter, facebook, social media – genius,” said fellow journalist Josiah Ryan, who worked with Oliver at the Leadership Institute’s CampusReform and now at Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.

In just one month this year, Oliver drove 25 million page views to TheBlaze.

“My interest in writing was reignited while at the Leadership Institute when I started writing...


To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member for the Conservative Leader Award or Conservative Leader-In-Training Award, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Carol Wehe, at

The Leadership Institute offers over 40 types of training programs, working with more than 1,441 conservative campus groups, and helping employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute’s 1979 founding, more than 143,000 conservative activists, students, and leaders have been trained. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders. For more information, please visit:

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The Advocate
The Advocate

Chelsi Henry doesn’t view herself as a politico; she's an advocate. 

“I’ve always had an interest in being able to serve others and be an advocate for others.  Since I was a young girl, I knew that I wanted to be an attorney and be able to use my skills to help people in the public sector,” said Chelsi.

And she has definitely succeeded.

Chelsi uses her voice to advocate for others through prayer, entrepreneurship, and political involvement.  Chelsi stays busy promoting conservative values within...

Biggest Upset Since 1899
Biggest Upset Since 1899

Campaign Manager Zachary Werrell orchestrated one of the greatest upsets in political history at the age of 23.  

Despite being outspent nearly 40 to 1, Zach’s candidate Dave Brat defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor with 56% of the vote in the Republican primary.  This was the first time a sitting House Majority Leader has been defeated since the position was created in 1899.

His success is thanks to an overwhelming grassroots campaign and effective political activists. 

“It wasn’t some establishment machine kind of political campaign, but it was the people doing it,” he said.

Zach credits most of the techniques he used to pull off this upset to his Leadership Institute training.

“There is nothing like baptism through fire to fully appreciate...

Fresh Voice in FL as 23-Year-Old Woman Takes Office
Fresh Voice in FL as 23-Year-Old Woman Takes Office

At only 23 years old, Jennifer Sullivan just won her election and became the youngest woman ever elected to the Florida legislature.  Jennifer’s fresh face will join the Florida House of Representatives in January.

Last week, Jennifer won the Florida House District 31 seat, despite being criticized and outspent by the opposition.  Opponents ran ads critiquing her for being “too young” and “lacking experience.”  She also recalls being outspent by 2-1 or 3-1 depending on the candidate, but that wasn’t enough to stop Jennifer Sullivan.

“Part of that was really just putting myself out there, and doing the hard work of making those cold calls, being willing to sit down and call people to ask for money,” Jennifer said.

Jennifer was motivated to run for office because she couldn’t sit back and watch the country fall apart any longer.

Millennial Inspires Young Conservatives
Millennial Inspires Young Conservatives

Just a few years ago, Elliot Echols was an economics student at Berry College in his home state of Georgia, and now he is the RNC National Youth Director.

Elliot’s advice to other hardworking young conservatives aspiring to make a difference is surprisingly simple.

“The best way to get a job in politics is to show up,” he said.  “Go to your local county meetings, join conservative groups and volunteer.  People notice those who work hard and are selfless.  I was able to get my job here at the RNC by showing up and letting my previous work speak for itself.”

Kentucky Entrepreneur Leads toward Conservative Environmentalism
Kentucky Entrepreneur Leads toward Conservative Environmentalism

"My advice to emerging leaders is to stay true to your values. Make honesty and integrity a priority in everything you do," said Nate Morris of Rubicon Global.

Nate, co-founder of Rubicon Global and trusted friend of Sen. Rand Paul (KY), has proven himself a strong leader in the private sector as well as the conservative movement.

Nate was one of former President George W. Bush’s youngest fundraisers.

15 going on Fearless
15 going on Fearless

“Make a start. It can be daunting, but everyone can make a difference,” Live Action Founder and President Lila Rose said.

As a freshman in college at the University of California Los Angeles, Lila recognized the lack of knowledge of abortion, the “greatest human rights injustice of our time.”

At 15, she decided to do something about it. So, she started the group Live Action.

Canadian Taxpayers
Canadian Taxpayers

“I’m a believer that impacts are made outside the partisan process,” said Troy Lanigan, president of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and vice chair of the World Taxpayers Association.

Troy is an influential figure on both a national and international stage. Like many others in the conservative movement, he claims humble beginnings at the Leadership Institute.

Troy has been naturally inclined toward politics since he was young.

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