The Youth Education Submit is a NRA scholarship program that encourages young adults to become active and knowledgeable U.S. citizens by learning about the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the federal government, and the importance of being active in civic affairs. 2015 Y.E.S. particpant Delaney Yoder has written the following reflection on her experience at Y.E.S. and how it has inspired her to become a leader in her community:
The future is always uncertain. It is obscure. It is unpredictable. But if we are to continue on the path we are currently walking down, we would probably predict that our country’s future will continuously become more distressing. If we do nothing to stop the anti-freedom ideologies and its supporters running rampant, our country will cease to be a country known for freedom, prosperity, and justice. Thankfully, there are still some who boldly run away from these trends.
One of the many ways the NRA continues to ensure our freedoms is by investing in and educating future generations through the Youth Education Summit.
The Youth Education Summit, also known as Y.E.S., is a once in a lifetime opportunity for community and civic-minded high school juniors and seniors. Y.E.S is a scholarship program that includes a week-long leadership summit in Washington, D.C. completely funded through the NRA Foundation. In 2015, 46 students were chosen from over 300 applicants. I was fortunate enough to be one of those chosen.
There were many moments throughout the week that stuck out as being influential. We had the opportunity to hear presentations from various people on different topics and NRA programs while at NRA Headquarters. But, having the opportunity to have a Q&A with NRA President Allan Cors and NRA Executive Director of General Operations Kyle Weaver, were the most memorable. I asked Mr. Cors, “What is the single most important thing that I can do as just a high schooler to ensure that our Second Amendment rights endure?” He explained, you should know not just the Second Amendment rights, but all of our [constitutional] rights in order to educate others about the vitality to our country. He also advised me to think for myself and to listen to others.
Although this seemed obvious and even simple, the more I thought about it during the week and especially when I returned home, I realized how critical this advice is for every single freedom-driven American. How can we expect this country to become a better place if we do not educate ourselves and share with others how to solidify freedom’s victory? Should we expect others to do all the grueling work for us? Are we really so busy as to just sit idly by as our great nation crumbles to the ground? No. If we put our minds to it we really can make a difference.
One way I truly became convinced that my generation could make a difference was what I learned about my Y.E.S. companions through debates and seminars. They are some of the most eloquent and perceptive high school public speakers in the country and presented an exceptional understanding and interest in current issues facing our country. They truly have the capabilities to transform our nation and inspired me to better myself that I may do the same.
Clearly, the NRA truly is transforming the future. I have not written anywhere close to even half of everything that we were able to experience during Y.E.S. Everything I gained from that experience helps me daily as I endeavor to do my part by becoming a leader in my community. Y.E.S. gave me the tools, a rekindled passion, and an even stronger desire for more education.
While the NRA helped me, they are most definitely not done helping others! If you are a junior or senior in high school, I strongly encourage you to apply for the Youth Education Summit, or if you know an eligible applicant encourage them to apply. You will not regret it! It was one of the best weeks of my life by far!
Regardless of your eligibility, I strongly encourage you nonetheless to follow Mr. Cors' advice as well: Know your subject matter. Think for yourself. Listen to others. If we were to each do and share with others these things every day, we could change this country. I beg you to do your part. Do not let the hope of a brighter future for the USA become extinguished in front of your very eyes. As Simon Wiesenthal said, “For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing.” Therefore, let us stand up and fight together for freedom’s victory!
Click here to apply for the 2016 Youth Education Summit! Deadline is February 1st.