Record Breaking Conservative Students Trained Across America in 2011

December 20, 2011 | By Lauren Hart

In 2011 the Leadership Institute’s Youth Leadership School, known as the “boot camp of politics,” trained 1,042 young conservatives – setting an all-time LI record for this department.

This two-person YLS team trained 1,042 students in 33 trainings across 21 states this year.

The Youth Leadership School is an intense, two-day training that teaches students to organize and lead mass-based youth efforts for the candidates and causes of their choice. The flagship training of the Institute launches more careers in politics than any other LI program. Notable YLS graduates include Senator Mitch McConnell; Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity; and Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa.

The record-breaking year for the YLS department is thanks to LI’s generous donors who support these programs and volunteer faculty who travel on weekends to share their expert political knowledge.

“The YLS can be life-changing,” said Kent Strang, Youth Leadership School director.  “I’ve seen former students elected to office, featured on print and broadcast media, run successful campaigns, and become colleagues.  These success stories make every weekend away from my family well worth the effort.” 

In July, the largest in-house YLS took place with a record-breaking 129 students from 30 different states and four countries. These students represented 74 colleges and universities were represented, 20 different Capitol Hill offices, and 19 conservative organizations.



"The YLS gives young conservatives a skill set of time-tested and innovative campaign and organizational techniques they will use throughout their political career,” said Daryn Iwicki, Americans for Prosperity Foundation director of training and education. 

Daryn, a former YLS coordinator who worked for LI now volunteers his weekend time to continue training young conservatives. “By training over 1,000 students three of the last four years, our students will be a powerful force for liberty now and in the future.”  

This year the Leadership Institute announced its 100,000th student trained since 1979: Alejandro Capote.  Alejandro, a Florida State University sophomore and recently naturalized US citizen, graduated from LI’s Youth Leadership School first in July at the Arlington, VA training and then he organized a 35-person YLS on his college campus in Tallahassee, Florida October 15.

At the Tallahassee training, Alejandro was named LI’s 100,000th graduate. He receives free Institute training for life and a travel scholarship to any LI training in the U.S. in 2012.

Meghan Swella, YLS coordinator, said, “I watch students eyes light up as we give them the tools to win for conservative principles and candidates.  I love inspiring and motivating young conservatives through the YLS training.”

In January 2012 alone there are four scheduled YLS trainings in Pullman, Washington; Newark, Ohio; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Mexico City, Mexico.  Sign up for the Youth Leadership School. Spread the word and get involved in local politics on campus and in your community.