Araceli Pinto, Former aide to the president of the Peruvian Congress:
The Academy program presents the perfect mix between conservative philosophy and policy. The holistic approach is as perfect for someone starting to discover conservatism as for someone who is already part of the movement. This program provides its participants with in-depth readings, great speakers, and an amazing supporting team. As someone from outside the United States, it was a great opportunity to get top-level education about conservative principles, policy proposals, and the founding ideals that make the United States the freest nation in the world.
Ryan Everson, Communications Integrity Specialist, Alliance Defending Freedom:
The Academy is a great program for anyone pursuing a career in conservative policy issues. The top-shelf lecturers help the Fellows become proficient in every major policy area, and the connections you make with like-minded peers are very valuable as well. This program should be on every young conservative's career checklist!
Manfred Wendt, Executive Director, Young Conservatives of Texas:
As the Executive Director for the Young Conservatives of Texas, educating students is my number one priority. The Heritage Foundation's Academy is the best resource I have found so far for educating students in a holistic manner on public policy. I have encouraged every chapter chair in my organization to apply for The Academy. The Academy not only provides students with a holistic entry-level policy course, but also a deep dive into public policy. I heavily recommend participating in the Academy.
Jacob Lane, Director of External Relations & Special Assistant to the President, Intercollegiate Studies Institute:
I always look for opportunities to expand my network of contacts within the conservative movement, and The Academy has provided the perfect opportunity to do just that! I'm so lucky to have met so many incredible young professionals during this experience, all striving to protect the principles and virtues that make America free and prosperous. I leave this experience with a deeper bench of knowledge and more allies in the fight for liberty!
Karly Hahn, Chair of the Minnesota College Republicans:
I recommend the Academy for any student or young professional who wants to explore new policy issues and polish old policy stances from Heritage experts themselves. From asking questions about national security to collaborating with a group on a capstone project to learning how to write an op-ed, there was something for every fellow. The Academy was the perfect opportunity to immerse myself into all that the Heritage Foundation has to offer and connect with young conservatives across the country, all while continuing to work full time and take classes. As the chair of the Minnesota College Republicans, the academy has not only equipped me with new ideas to pass on to our chapters, but it has also helped me narrow down my policy interests as I begin to explore my post-undergraduate path!
Charlotte Townsend, NeW Chapter Leader, College is Charleston:
As a rising senior on a college campus, it is important now more than ever in our nation’s history that young conservatives should be encouraged and emboldened to defend their views. The Academy is a program that has prepared and equipped me, as well as many other Academy Fellows, to do just that. Throughout Academy programming, I have been able to form connections with other Academy Fellows, Young Leaders Program Staff, and Heritage policy experts — all of whom have been available to answer questions and help me grow as a young conservative through helping me understand the policy issues that challenge America today. I can bring that knowledge back to campus, and work to inspire others to join the conservative movement.
Marleigh Kerr, student at Hillsdale College:
As someone who entered the politics world later than a lot of my peers I have always felt really behind or like I know so little. The Academy has given me a place to understand a wide array of issues in a way that I never could have come to on my own. While I still have a lot to learn I now have a foundation in so many issues and have The Academy to thank for that!
Osvaldo Carrasco Jr, Chief Operating Officer, Nuevo Pacto Church; Faith Advisor, White House Office on Faith and Opportunity Initiatives:
The Academy Program through the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation is a key program for any rising student, civic leader, and young adult that is interested in learning policy. I believe no matter where you are on the political spectrum you need to learn true foundational principles. As a faith leader I have been able to learn from people who care to share their passion for our country. Not only will you learn from the best but you will have the best support group, from your peers to a staff that truly embodies public service and shares the fight for our civil liberties.
Jacob Kersey, host of the Jacob Kersey Program, and a home-schooled high schooler.
The Academy is the optimal fusion of relevant discussions on policy and lectures on conservative philosophy. I highly recommend The Academy to any young individual who desires to sharpen their public policy knowledge, grow in their understanding of conservatism, and connect with other exceptional students and professionals. You will reap the benefits of joining this stellar program!
Maeve Reilly, RecentGraduate, University of Mary Washington:
The Academy has something for everyone and is a welcoming place for open discussion of pertinent issues facing our nation today with renowned, experienced scholars and policy analysts. The program includes individuals from all walks of life and varying perspectives. Every conversation had during The Academy, whether it is with experts or other fellows, is meaningful. Personally, this program gave me a bridge into the “real world” of policy. As a recent graduate with limited real world experience, The Academy taught me more about D.C. culture, policy, and leadership than I believed was possible. It also opened the door to other career building opportunities - such as career advising, resume building, skill seminars, and policy web lectures. Everyone at The Heritage Foundation is inviting, knowledgeable, and always willing to help its fellows. I would highly recommend The Academy to anyone; it has been a wonderful experience!