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Young Leaders of Y.E.S.: Madeline Blahnik’s Personal Statement

Young Leaders of Y.E.S.: Madeline Blahnik’s Personal Statement

The NRA Foundation is celebrating #GivingTuesday 2018 by supporting the NRA’s Youth Education Summit (Y.E.S.) with its fundraising campaign. Leading up to the big day on November 27, tune in each Tuesday to learn more about some of the passionate young advocates for freedom who have attended Y.E.S as we highlight their applications and impact stories. We hope you’ll think of these leaders when making your #GivingTuesday donation—100 percent of your contribution will go to NRA’s Youth Education Summit Scholarship Fund.

Entry into the Y.E.S. program requires the submission of a rigorous and in-depth application, including a high school transcript, a three-page essay on the Second Amendment, three letters of recommendation and a one page personal statement. The personal statement is where applicants have the opportunity to demonstrate their motivation for attending, their passion for the program’s goals, and their dedication to Leading the Legacy of freedom. The inspiring statement below comes from 2018 Y.E.S. participant Madeline Blahnik's application.



I believe that I am a good candidate for this year’s Y.E.S. because I thoroughly enjoy being involved with the government. This is my second year participating in a program called YIG, or Youth in Government. The program allows high school students to participate in either the legislative branch, the judicial branch, or press corps. I enjoy learning the different processes in different government areas, listening to sides being debated in the court, participating in bill debates, and writing and reading articles to inform myself and others.

I believe that this Summit would allow me to further express my passion for the U.S. government. Since our country is based on letting its citizens have a voice, I believe that learning more about our government will help us strengthen our voices within it. I think that one of the biggest issues with our government is that many citizens don’t know the entirety of how our government works.

" I could take my experience and knowledge home with me and help others strengthen their voices and help them utilize our government."
Our forefathers fought for the chance to put their own leaders into power to express their own opinions. I believe that until American citizens utilize their power to install leaders who fight for what their beliefs are, none of us are fully utilizing our government. If I was to be selected, I could take my experience and knowledge home with me and help others strengthen their voices and help them utilize our government.

Another reason I would be a good candidate for this year’s Summit is that I demonstrate and enjoy demonstrating leadership. I have participated in many groups as a leader and even throughout my everyday life in class and at home. I think that the Summit would help me expand my leadership skills in helping me lead and teach others.

I believe one of the most important parts of being a leader is also being able to listen as well as lead. It is important to listen to each other’s ideas and look through other people’s eyes. I myself have only ever lived in Wisconsin, and I believe that being in such an esteemed group of people my age would help me listen and learn about other parts of the country other than just my home state. Although we all live in one nation, we have different state laws and are all raised differently, and by discussing with one another it can help broaden our horizons and make our country stronger as a whole. Since some states have such differing laws, this could help me to be not so closed-minded on one side of an issue in the future.

Something that I believe is important for me to highlight is that I have little experience with a gun. I have done some shooting with a BB gun at targets in our back field. Other than that, I have little to no experience with firearms. I know that this program highly focuses on firearms, from use of them to our laws concerning them. I believe that this program can help me learn about firearms and extend my little knowledge immensely. I think that this program could also help me uncover a new passion for fighting for gun rights, and maybe even for shooting in competitions.

Overall, if I were to be selected, I would really like to be able to expand myself as a person through the Summit. I think that it can offer myself and other individuals a lot of benefits in terms of knowledge and character. This program can improve social skills, participation in government, using our voices, standing up for what we believe in, and so much more. I think that the Youth Education Summit can only benefit me, as knowledge is power and in turn I will use that power to educate others.

The NRA Foundation is participating in the global #GivingTuesday campaign to help raise funds for Y.E.S. Say “YES” to Y.E.S. by making a donation today at www.friendsofnra.org/GivingTuesday. 100 percent of your contribution made here to The NRA Foundation funds NRA’s Youth Education Summit Scholarship Fund. Through participation in the Y.E.S. program, students compete for up to $55,000 in college scholarships. That’s where you come in! Help us support the young men and women who will Lead the Legacy of freedom into the future—invest in the next generation of Second Amendment champions.

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