News Category: LI's Conservative Leaders

Liberty Magic
Liberty Magic

Get off your butt and do something! Stop complaining about the size of government and be proactive about our problems. We can't afford to just sit around and talk philosophy with each other. If you want to make a change, stop reading and start doing,” Leadership Institute graduate Brandon Cestrone who is the northeast regional director for Young Americans for Liberty said.

“At some point books only become a crutch,” he continued. “People would rather read political theory than learn practical application. Don't make this mistake. Take what you learn and put it to action. That's where the magic happens.” 

Brandon Cestrone has made significant contributions to advancing liberty through youth activism. He’s helped start 50 college Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) chapters at universities stretching from West Virginia all the way to Maine. Read on to learn more about the YAL conventions in 12 states.

Arizona Stateswoman Makes Waves in the West
Arizona Stateswoman Makes Waves in the West

Being a woman in leadership is beneficial to the conservative movement, former Arizona State Senator and Leadership Institute graduate Lori Klein said.

“Women need to put themselves out front, get elected, and hold their ground as a conservative,” she said.

Lori has a powerhouse of experience with 18 years on Capitol Hill and seven years as the director of public relations for the Washington Times. Her most recent contribution was coordinating the Western Conservative Conference, which was held a few weeks back in Phoenix, Arizona.

Communist Escapee & LI Graduate Now Trains Conservatives Worldwide
Communist Escapee & LI Graduate Now Trains Conservatives Worldwide

Communism is real for Zeljko "Zed" Zidaric.

A Croatian by birth, he escaped communism and grew up in Canada.

“As an escapee from communism with family left behind in Croatia, I know firsthand what communism is about,” he said. “I heard from my family about the hardships and the fear.  I knew that communism was a flawed system that benefitted only a few.  I was fortunate to have escaped and felt that it was my duty to stand against communism and fight to defend the freedom that we in the West cherish.”

So he attended Royal Military College in Canada and became an officer. “I was fortunate that communism collapsed and I did not need to go to war, but I did volunteer to go and protect the new democracy in Croatia as it struggled to escape the shackles of the former communist Yugoslavia,” Zed said.

Freedom to be a fan
Freedom to be a fan

On Sunday, millions of Americans watched the Super Bowl and some had the privilege to watch live in person, after buying tickets.  

But what if your tickets came with restrictions?

“If you go back in time three years, no one had heard of restricted tickets,” Fan Freedom National Manager of Partnerships & Outreach Alex Johnson said. “But restricted tickets existed.”

Fan Freedom protects the rights of all live event ticket holders. The organization supports legislation and promotes activism to protect those rights, including: When fans buy tickets, they own them. Fans have the right to buy, give away or sell their tickets however they choose, anytime they choose, in any way they choose, at any price they choose, the Fan Freedom’s website states.

Generation Screwed
Generation Screwed

“Lower taxes, less waste, and more accountable government” is what the Canadian Taxpayers Federation fights for daily.  Aaron Gunn, Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s director of special projects, has been handed the reins to a new initiative called Generation Screwed. Generation Screwed is “a campus-based movement aiming to raise awareness and solicit action from young people across Canada on issues of government debt, deficits and unfunded liability,” Aaron said.

Working for the right to work
Working for the right to work

“If it wasn’t for the Leadership Institute, I would not be where I am today,” National Right To Work Committee and National Right To Work Legal Defense Foundation President Mark Mix said. 

Across all 50 states Mark and his staff fight leftist laws that require union membership as a condition for employment. Their organization believes that all Americans must have the right to join a union if they choose to, but no one should ever be forced to affiliate with a union in order to get or keep a job.

In college, Mark met a person at James Madison University who changed his life. 

National Secretary for College Republican National Committee (CRNC)
National Secretary for College Republican National Committee (CRNC)

“I still appreciate a good bow tie, but I think I have found my calling."

For Katie Thompson, her first love was bow ties. A born-and-raised southerner, she began at the University of South Carolina as a fashion merchandising major, but life had other plans for her.

A friend convinced her to run for a seat in the student senate. After winning the election, she changed her major to public relations, added a political science minor, and joined College Republicans. Her political career was launched.

A friend convinced her to run for a seat in the student senate. - See more at: http://www.leadershipinstitute.org/news/?NR=10232&pcn=8675309#sthash.3UFk3bDd.dpuf
Determined Student Now Leads National Conservative Women’s Network
Determined Student Now Leads National Conservative Women’s Network

“Ten years ago, when a woman stepped on campus she found chapters of the National Organization for Women, women’s studies departments full of campus feminists, and women’s centers not open to supporting all women,” Network of Enlightened Women Founder Karin Agness said.  “At the time, there were no women’s groups specifically catering to conservative college women.”

That’s not the case anymore. In 2004, with no help from her university and being turned away from The Women’s Center at the University of Virginia, Karin Agness decided to start the Network of Enlightened Women, a network for conservative university women that has grown into more than 20 chapters nationwide.

Rep. Jim Jordan’s advice to me: Go to LI
Rep. Jim Jordan’s advice to me: Go to LI

Caleb works in media and development at Live Action. He also works on Live Action’s magazine The Advocate to prepare and equip pro-life activists with the proper tools to fight the abortion industry.

Live Action was founded in 2003 by Lila Rose, who at the time was 15 years old. Like Caleb, Lila is also a Leadership Institute graduate and has taken six trainings.

Before Live Action, Caleb was in college and an intern at the Leadership Institute and in Rep. Jim Jordan's Ohio district office.

The Walking Miracle
The Walking Miracle

Spina bifida is a medical condition that affects the spine and nerves for newborn babies like James Christophersen, now 26, and about 1,500 babies each year. Doctors told James’ mother that she should end his life before it began. If allowed to survive, they said, James would not walk on his own or even live to adulthood.

Now, more than two decades later, James is a conservative leader fighting against the very same mindset in today’s medical community. He works at Students for Life of America as the director of Med Students for Life and Law Students for Life.

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