Alexa Van Anne isn’t your ordinary 19-year-old.
She’s a competitive ballerina, a committed conservative activist, and dreaming of running for office herself – but first, she’s got to finish college.
Alexa got her start in politics working for the reelection of her congressman, Rep. Mike Coffman, in 2012.
“Working for the Coffman campaign marked my entrance into politics. I sought out the opportunity on my own having been interested in politics my entire life,” Alexa said.
As area campaign director for Mike Coffman for Congress, Alexa coordinated door-to-door canvassing and phone banking. As November neared, Alexa became more involved in working on projects with the field director for her district.
“I joined Heritage Action a month after it launched, in July of 2010,” Heritage Action Deputy Political Director Nathanael Yellis said. Three years later, their focus for this fall is clear: defund the Affordable Care Act. “I'm excited about our effort to defund Obamacare,” he continued. “We're working to make this the issue when Congress returns in September.”
“I was…a liberal,” said Lachlan Markay. “Socialist might be more accurate.” He was surrounded by liberal thought at Hamilton College, where neither faculty nor students questioned their “knee-jerk” liberal philosophy. And that bothered Lachlan.
The administration at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, nicknamed the University at Buffalo, is not pleased with Christian Andzel.
You see, he’s a conservative rising senior recruiting more students to his cause, and the university has attempted to silence him and his club members.
The University at Buffalo (UB) Students for Life club, of which Christian was president, hosted the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform’s Genocide Awareness Project last semester. It compares the victims of abortion to the victims of the genocides of world history.
At the age of 20, Jessica Koehler has already accomplished much.
She finished college with a Bachelor’s degree in just two years, taught English to children in Taiwan, and is now helping her father run for state representative in Ohio, where she and her family live.
Her path into politics began with TeenPact Leadership Schools, which teaches students how to lead through hands-on activities such as mock legislatures. At the age of 14 while learning how her state government functions, Jessica discovered how she and others her age could impact politics.
“Getting my age group involved in political activities is very important to me,” Jessica said. “It’s important because my generation has been told again and again that it is acceptable to just sit back and let the world run its course, and that getting involved will not make a difference.”
Growing up in a very patriotic family, it's only fitting that Jean Morrow end up working full time at the Institute for Justice after summer internships at Family Research Council, The Heritage Foundation, and the Leadership Insitutute. “As LI’s development department intern, I had the opportunity to work on numerous direct mail, major gifts, and foundations projects,” Jean said. "These projects taught me integral fundraising and non-profit management skills which I plan to utilize in my position at the Institute for Justice.”
For Wiley Bird, polycystic kidney disease left him kidney-less after a failed transplant 10 years ago and more recently, many emergency surgeries, hooked to a dialysis machine, without a job and on disability, and once again on the transplant waiting list – hoping for a miracle. Enter Nick Steward, a city councilman in Tennessee and Leadership Institute graduate, who donated his kidney to Wiley, a stranger.
Heroes should die famous.
Sadly, many don’t, and that’s why Freethink Media—a production company started in 2010 that’s devoted to telling stories about freedom, human well-being, and achievement—produced the heartwarming, award-winning documentary film Honor Flight.
And Jo Jensen, the marketing director for Freethink Media and also a Leadership Institute graduate, has been busy this year raising awareness for Honor Flight in part because it’s personal to her.
Research drives policy messaging. Well, at least for smart conservatives.
For Abbey Brokos, she’s found a career doing research in her passion: political communications.
First she worked for the Republican National Committee as a junior research analyst, and now she’s a political communications specialist at FP1 Strategies.
Before that, she interned at Concerned Women for America, the Leadership Institute, and the State Department.
Have you heard the famous proverb: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again?”
For Lee Cohen, trying again proved very successful.
In 2012, he ran for student body president at Indiana University South Bend and lost by just 57 votes. This year, running against two other candidates, Lee received 55.9 percent of the vote, while the second place person received 35.9 percent and the last received 8.2 percent. In other words, Lee overwhelmingly won 1.5 times more votes than the second highest candidate and 6.5 times more votes than the third.
So, what changed?