by Paxton Delany - Monday, July 18, 2016
Each year nearly fifty students from across the country attend NRA’s Youth Education Summit (Y.E.S.). As we eagerly await the arrival of this year’s summiteers, we take a moment to catch up with two Y.E.S. alumni to see what they’ve been up to since their experience with the program.
Brooke McCann was a part of the programs very first summit in 1996. “I was honored to have been chosen to participate,” shared McCann. “I know of no other place in the US that gives youth the information and opportunities that Y.E.S. does." "I know of no other place in the US that gives youth the information and opportunities that Y.E.S. does. My experience was wonderful and was the highlight of my high school years. It was a first for me to meet others that were my age with the same values and views of the Second Amendment that I had."
Following her time spent at the summit, Brooke went on to receive a scholarship from Morehead State University's Rifle Team and immediately got involved with her local Friends of NRA chapter all with the support and encouragement she received from Y.E.S.
Now Brooke is a Development Technologist at the Mayo Clinic where she helps develop new clinical immunohistochemical tests. She's also an instructor in Laboratory Medicine & Pathology within the College of Medicine where she’s able to mentor others in the field. Brooke’s passion for mentoring has overflown into her job and she can definitely attribute it back to the great chaperones she had as a student at Y.E.S. “Our chaperones back in '96 were great. And because of it I really enjoy mentoring today,” said McCann. "Giving others the knowledge and insight to help further their careers and goals is a great feeling.”
Sean Coffindaffer was with Y.E.S three short years ago. Now a junior at Samford University in Alabama, he's pursuing a degree in History with a focus in Legal Studies - a field he credits was “inspired” from his time spent at the summit.
"I was constantly slandered over my beliefs and then I arrived at Y.E.S and felt more welcomed than ever..." Prior to attending the summit, Sean was living in Connecticut and was one of the few conservatives in his school. “I was constantly slandered over my beliefs,” he shared, “and then I arrived at Y.E.S. and felt more welcomed than ever meeting others with similar backgrounds. Those friendships are ones I still value to this day.”
Sean’s passion for the Second Amendment has continued to grow the past few years and since his experience at Y.E.S. he doesn’t shy away from opportunities to stand up for what he believes in. With his new found voice Sean has spent his time at university defending his own right, and the right of American’s everywhere to bear arms, writing speeches and essays. Sean has even had the opportunity to defend the second Amendment through a multitude of articles for the Stamford University paper.
Sean and Brooke are products of the span of Y.E.S. students who’ve come and gone through the years. As stewards of their generation and as chaperones to this year’s Y.E.S. students they hope to encourage the next generation to do the same. Both Brooke and Sean are headed back to the Nation’s Capital this year to help chaperone Y.E.S. “It meant a lot to me to be able to come back and help inspire the future YES students. I wanted to do my part and share what I've learned with others and what better place than at YES!” exclaims Brooke. “We need to teach the coming generations to stand and fight for our constitution and country. If we want the truth to be heard by all we need to teach it to the next generations.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!