Young Americans for Freedom provides opportunities for Rocky students Guest column by Emily Schneller

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Do you like to travel? Would you like the opportunity to hear from amazing speakers throughout the country? If your answer happens to be “yes,” I encourage you to learn more about Young Americans for Freedom (YAF).

 

During my freshman year at Rocky Mountain College, I joined the newly-founded Young Americans for Freedom chapter on campus, and one month into school I had the opportunity to travel to the Reagan Ranch in Santa Barbara, California, at no cost of my own. Not long after, I traveled to Washington, D.C., which I would visit two more times in the coming months, and during one of those visits, I had the pleasure of meeting the former Vice President Mike Pence.

 

YAF stands for Young American’s Foundation’s chapter affiliate and is a national non-profit organization with chapters all over the country in high schools and colleges. 

 

YAF was founded by William F. Buckley in 1960 and it is “committed to ensuring that increasing numbers of young Americans understand and are inspired by the ideas of individual freedom, a strong national defense, free enterprise, and traditional values,” according to the YAF website, yaf.org.

 

To promote these values, chapters on every campus strive to engage students through displays, projects, and speakers. One of the best examples seen on Rocky’s campus was the 9/11: Never Forget Project when 2,977 flags were placed in the ground outside of the Student Union Building in honor of those who died on September 11, 2001. 

 

As a chapter at Rocky, we have also successfully hosted one major speaking event in 2019 and brought Fox News contributor Rachel Campos-Duffy to campus. 

 

Unfortunately, COVID restrictions have limited our ability as a club to engage with students, but we hope to change that this year and continue planning our next speaking event.

 

As the Chair of Rocky’s YAF chapter, I also hope to bring local speakers to campus as we have done in the past. We have hosted a DEA agent, a doctor from La Vie, the state director of Americans for Prosperity, and Governor Greg Gianforte when he was a U.S. Representative. Gianforte is now serving as the governor of Montana. 

 

YAF has provided more opportunities for me than I could have ever imagined. As a freshman and then a sophomore in college, I was speaking with some of the most influential people in the country and ended up on the Instagram page of the sitting Vice President. These are experiences I will forever be grateful for, and can only hope I will be so lucky as to share those experiences with my peers. YAF also provides internship opportunities, including those through the National Journalism Center, which trains aspiring journalists through connections with major media outlets. 

 

If you are a student and interested in learning more about YAF, you can visit the website at yaf.org, or simply email me at yaf@rocky.edu. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

 

We typically meet as a group every other Monday at 7:30 p.m. in the Selover Boardroom; however, our schedule has not been consistent while we are in the process of planning a speaking event so I would encourage you to first email us if you are interested. 

 

Rocky is home to the only YAF chapter in the state of Montana so we invite all of you to learn more about this unique organization.

 

Emily Schneller

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