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June 22, 2016

June 22, 2016 | News Releases on

Heritage Interns Honored as Emerging Leaders

Three former interns of The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program are recipients of the America’s Future Foundation 2016 Emerging Leaders Award.

Sam Audia, Mariana Barillas, and Cameron Swathwood are three of the 11 recipients of this year’s honor. AFF’s emerging leaders are selected from a pool of applicants from across the country and represent the future of the liberty movement.

The Young Leaders Program promotes the mission of The Heritage Foundation to the next generation of leaders. Through YLP, young conservatives from around the country participate in an internship with Heritage while also attending policy briefings, lectures, and workshops. Interns engage with one another in group discussions as well as tours that include Mount Vernon, the U.S. Capitol, and the Pentagon.

“We are so pleased to learn that three Heritage intern alumni were named to the America’s Future Foundation’s list of 2016 Emerging Leaders,” Bridgett Wagner, Vice President of External Relations at The Heritage Foundation, said. “It’s a wonderful recognition for Sam, Mariana and Cameron, and a great recognition of the work that Elinor Renner does in running the Heritage intern program and that all our colleagues do in selecting and training the next generation of conservative leaders.”

Sam Audia is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in political science and international studies. She hopes to attend graduate school after working in political communications. Audia has written for several publications during her undergraduate career and has completed multiple internships from Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Washington, D.C.

Mariana Barillas graduated with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from Thomas Edison State University in March 2016. She completed the four-year great books discussion program while supplementing her studies at Mott Community College and the University of Michigan-Flint. Barillas is a general assignment reporter at the Washington Examiner as part of the Collegiate Network fellowship program. Barillas has written for Campus Reform, The Daily Signal and Intercollegiate Review.

Cameron Swathwood graduated from Liberty University in May with a degree in international relations and a minor in intelligence studies. During his Heritage internship, Swathwood assisted with research projects while also writing articles on developments in the strategic and nuclear fields. He will be entering the military on active duty.

The 2016 emerging leaders were honored at the AFF’s Welcome to Washington event in June.

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