As I enter the last week of my academic career and approach the next chapter of life following graduation, I can’t help but reflect on the privilege and opportunity I had to work with the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) organization.
I first joined the organization during my sophomore year at Brown University, when I created the YAL chapter at Brown. Prior to that, however, I had always had a fascination with politics and philosophy, which led me to joining to the Brown College Republicans during my freshman year. While I enjoyed my time with the College Republicans, the organization and its values and principles never felt like a true fit for me. It was the following summer that I first encountered YAL through some friends I had made at the Conservative Political Action Conference that year. After looking into the organization, I realized that this was the organization where I felt I belonged. Shortly after submitting an application, I was contacted by Cliff Maloney, who has continued to be a positive mentor in my life. The moment after I got off the phone discussing the organization, opportunities, and the liberty movement, I was hooked. At that moment, I made the decision to join the ever-growing network of activists across the country dedicated to defending and advancing liberty; it was one of the best and most poignant decisions I made during my time as a college student.
During my time at YAL, I have made memories and friends that will last a lifetime and have acquired skills, training, and education that will prove invaluable throughout my career and life. Through having the opportunity to host, attend, and participate in conferences and conventions across the country, I have encountered some of the most ambitious, intelligent, caring, and genuine people I have ever had the pleasure to meet and call friends. Hosting activism events to raise awareness and support for pressing national issues has not only provided me with numerous professional skills, but has also helped to make a difference and contribute to the larger liberty movement. Just being a part of the organization, in any and every capacity, has provided a deeper understanding, knowledge, and appreciation for free markets, free minds, and free people.
I don’t think there is any experience I would exchange for my involvement with the YAL organization. Words cannot do justice to the deep appreciation, gratitude, and admiration I hold for YAL. All of the friends, memories, and knowledge I have gained during my experience will continue to have a lasting impact and hold a special place in my life. The organization has not only helped me grow as a professional, but also as a person and a citizen. Aside from the countless things I have gained from my time at YAL, I have been most honored and proud to have had the opportunity to contribute to the defense and restoration of individual liberty and personal freedom. Being a part of YAL is unlike being a part of any other organization; it is being part of a community, being part of a movement.