Why YOU should attend the 2012 YAL National Convention

Hey you with the face, so you’re thinking about applying for the 2012 YAL National Convention?

Haven’t made up your mind yet eh? 

Let me break it down for you wizards. You need to drop what you are doing, right now, and apply. 

I’ll make it easy for you.  Click here.

Why should you apply? I’ll tell you in a bit, but for now, let me quickly introduce myself.

My name is Brandon Cestrone. I was the co-founder and President of the Slippery Rock Young Americans for Liberty since August 2011 and PA State Chair since February.  I like long walks on the beach and reading about the history of sporks. Now that you know my life story, let’s rewind back to the summer of 2011. <--break->

Where was I? I was working my way through summer school as a full-time sales consultant manager. Yes, I know, I was living the life. I first heard about the 2011 YAL Convention early in June, and to my surprise, Ron Paul, Rand Paul, and Jack Hunter were scheduled to make appearances. Being new to liberty-oriented events, I had some reservations about what to expect and whether or not using my vacation time to attend was a wise idea, but I made the decision to apply and soon after, I was accepted.

Before the Convention, I never had the opportunity of meeting these patriots in real life, which was one of the reasons why I chose to attend. Little did I know this convention would change my life. 

Having been to last year’s convention and seeing what it has done for me, let me tell you something important; this convention changed my life, for the better.

I am now the National Field Program Intern this summer.  I am living with other liberty activists and meeting new people, all because I went to the convention last year.  Many new and exciting doors are opening, all because I went to the convention last year.  I am learning unique and valuable life-long skills, all because I went to the convention last year. 

Are you picking up the pattern?

Last year I didn’t know anyone. This year I am organizing the convention alongside the executive board, and you can too! 

Still not getting it?

What I am trying to say is, the convention is an amazing, unforgettable, and vitally important personal experience that every YAL leadership team member should experience. 


Below are the top reasons why YOU should attend the 2012 YAL Convention.

1. You will network with hundreds of like-minded students. 

The convention was being held in Arlington, Virginia. I was assigned to sleep in the lower quarters. Within 30 minutes of arriving I knew I had made the right decision. After unpacking, a group of new friends and I went out on the town and discussed politics until late into the night. Expect many long night political discussions. It’s liberty nerd heaven! I mean come on, where else can you reference Mises, Hayek, and Bastiat without people giving you weird looks? 

Throughout the whole week, I was constantly meeting and networking with students from all over the country. I never knew there were so many young, educated activists who wanted to spread the message of liberty on campus and throughout the country. I also met some amazing people who work for the Leadership Institute, contacts that have served me well since.

2. You get the tools and training necessary to effectively run a chapter on campus and become a better leader and activist. 

 Before the convention, I wasn’t knowledgeable on the ins and outs of running a YAL chapter. What do I do? How do I do it? These questions needed to be answered before I considered starting a successful chapter. Luckily, throughout the week I was trained on every aspect of chapter leadership and chapter building, straight from the expects. No stone was left unturned. When it was over, I felt confident and ready to take on the task of serving as President of Slippery Rock Young Americans for Liberty. 

There was no way to know then, but this decision changed the course of my life. Right after the convention I met the co-founder and vice president of my chapter through Slippery Rock’s profile on yaliberty.org. With Steve’s help, we were off and running.  

Now, after one school year, I have many new life-long friends from Slippery Rock, friendships that wouldn’t exist had I decided to go on vacation instead of the convention. These friends helped me build the chapter into what it is today, a true team effort.  

3. You learn the top strategies and principles of running a campaign by top political experts. 

This includes Mike Rothfeld, John Tate, Doug Stafford, Jesse Benton, Steve Sutton, Ned Ryun, and Matt Robbins. You will be taught tested and proven strategies that have and will win local and national campaigns. Even if you have no interest in running for office or managing a campaign, these lectures will benefit you in many other areas of your life. 

4. Rand Paul will be there, and possibly Ron Paul, Jim DeMint, Justin Amash, and Mike Lee.

Did you hear me? RAND PAUL AND POSSIBLY RON PAUL WILL BE THERE! OK, you might have seen him speak recently at a rally or on your campus, but have you sat with only 250 other people? This convention allows for a far more intimate setting than you can find anywhere else.


5. You meet the top youth movement leaders and get plugged into YAL’s mission.

This includes Jeff Frazee, Edward King, Corey Hubbard, Joshua Parrish, Bonnie Kristian, and David Hoyt. Meeting these people who run YAL will give you a more clear idea of its internal operation. Coming to the convention will get you plugged into YAL on a deeper level.  

Plus, you can make a name for yourself. If you have read any book on success, you know that every day you are selling yourself. At the convention you and do just that, prove your worth in the liberty movement by attending. 

YAL’s website sums it up best, “This event brings together the best and brightest young people in the youth movement for liberty to network, share ideas, and learn how to become better leaders. Here is your opportunity to improve your skills, build your resume, and make a name for yourself in the movement.”

6. It cost only 30 Federal Reserve Notes. 

Thirty bucks gets you four days worth of professional training, liberty materials, and lodging. All you pay for is your travel expenses and food. That, my friends, is a steal. Thanks to generous YAL donors, I was given the opportunity to attend last year. Believe me, it will be the best $30 you have ever spent.

So you have a choice, buy a new gizmo that will occupy your time for a couple hours, or, get the best political experience of your life. It’s ultimately up to you. Make the right choice. 

I can tell you right now you won’t regret coming. No one does. 

I look forward to seeing you there.


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