“LI Completely Changed My Life!”
July 16, 2013 | By Lauren Day
Jean Morrow explained that she grew up in a “very patriotic family.” Her father was a 30-year career Navy Captain who served in Vietnam. He and her mother helped instill a love of country, dedication, determination, and hard work in her from an early age.
And it’s these principles that shaped Jean as an adult.
Now, Jean is living out her own dream: working as a development associate at the Institute for Justice, a conservative nonprofit that protects American’s civil liberties.
“Since the Wilson presidency, there has been a movement in our nation to grow the size of government, throw out the U.S. Constitution and her Bill of Rights, and ultimately usurp the individual liberties our Founders designed for us,” Jean said. “Civil liberties are vitally important to the continuation of our nation; they help protect the American dream.”
She continued, “The framers wanted the courts to play an active role in making sure that the government was limited to its expressly delegated powers and to defend individual liberties. It's a great feeling knowing that I'm working for a non-profit that forces the judiciary to uphold its original intent and to continue to be the last defense for individual liberty in our constitutional system.”
The Institute for Justice (IJ) has four pillars of litigation: economic liberty, private property, school choice, and the First Amendment.
The Institute for Justice has built a reputation over the past two decades as a force for freedom across the country. The organization has litigated 157 cases, including five before the U.S. Supreme Court. IJ has a stellar 70 percent victory rate in litigation and legislation, Jean shared.
“The case that first introduced me to the Institute for Justice dealt with educational vouchers, a vital component of liberty and an area which I thoroughly researched while in college,” Jean said. “IJ's first appearance before the U.S. Supreme Court was for the seminal case, Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2002), in which the Court upheld the constitutionality of school choice under the Establishment Clause. This victory has led to more than 200,000 students benefiting from school choice and the Institute for Justice has been dubbed the voucher movement's legal brain trust.”
As a development associate at IJ, Jean’s chief responsibilities include donor and prospect research and supporting the director of development with meetings with donors.
“I also help my fellow development team with sending out thank you letters and materials to donors,” Jean said. “As the Leadership Institute development team taught me, you can never thank a supporter enough!”
“I never thought I would ever work in the realm of development, and I'm honored to help the Institute for Justice secure the funds necessary to continue to be a pillar of free society that helps strengthen and deepen liberty as a newly dubbed member of their fundraising team,” Jean said.
Jean attended Central Florida Community College for three semesters free of charge before transferring to the University of Florida, where she received her B.A. in political science in May 2010.
In college, Jean was secretary of the University of Florida Pro-life Alliance, Florida chair for the Network of enlightened Women, and secretary of her College Republicans chapter.
“I was also committed to preserving the memory of 9/11 by spearheading a 9/11: Never Forget Project and Vigil for six years consistently as a college student,” Jean said.
Following her college graduation, she went straight into her graduate studies at the University of Florida, where she earned her Master’s in Political Science and certificate in Public Affairs in May 2012.
In the summers, Jean interned for the Family Research Council’s Marriage and Religion Research Institute, the state attorney’s office for the eighth judicial circuit of Florida, and in the external relations department for The Heritage Foundation.
In spring 2013, Jean interned for the Leadership Institute’s development department.
“I first learned of the Leadership Institute when I was a kid,” Jean recalled. “I remember my late uncle talking to my dad about all the good that LI was doing. I never realized until recently that he was a donor for many years. That was in the 1990s and today I’m sure he would be proud to know that I was privileged to intern at such a fine organization.”
As an intern, Jean took more than 17 LI trainings ranging from TV training to the High-Dollar Fundraising School to the Campaign Management School.
“I learned more in the Leadership Institute’s semester-long internship than I feel I learned in my two years of graduate school at the University of Florida,” she said.
“My life has changed completely because of the Leadership Institute! Before my internship I was working one full-time job by day in a Nationwide Insurance Claims Call Center in Gainesville, Florida and by night I was scanning and bagging groceries at my neighborhood Publix that I had worked at for years,” Jean said. “During all of my free time I was applying for jobs and was starting to get discouraged at the minimal answer rate I was getting. I decided to take a chance and gave up both jobs to intern at LI—one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life! Plus, I'm currently working at a non-profit – the Institute for Justice – that I've dreamed of working at since I first found out about the organization’s good work.”
Your life can completely change too!
Check out LI’s training schedule here.
“As LI’s development department intern, I had the opportunity to work on numerous direct mail, major gifts, and foundations projects,” Jean said. “I especially enjoyed working with Morton and the staff on the day lily project. These projects taught me integral fundraising and non-profit management skills which I plan to utilize in my position at the Institute for Justice.”
“The Leadership Institute is the premier comprehensive training organization that is equipping conservatives with the skills needed to succeed in government, politics, and the media. This organization helped catapult me onto my career path and I hope all conservatives take advantage of the great opportunities LI has to offer. I'm sure glad I did and will be eternally grateful!”
You too can be “catapulted onto your career path” through LI training – specifically the week-long, intensive Comprehensive Fundraising Training, which is coming up September 30 through October 3.
Please congratulate Jean Morrow on landing her dream job, and please welcome her as LI’s Graduate of the Week.
To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member to be featured as LI's spotlight of the week, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Lauren Day, formerly Lauren Hart, at Lauren@LeadershipInstitute.org.