Being a young, conservative female can be tough in a generation considered to be “oh-so-liberal.” And being a conservative student at a liberal college campus can be even more difficult.
I was a junior in college before I discovered the wealth of resources available to young conservatives, and I wish I had known about this conservative support system sooner. Now that I’m out of college and working my first job, I want to spread the word to younger conservatives who are looking for opportunities. Here are a few organizations who helped me along the way, and are willing to help you, too.
The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program
I interned at the Heritage Foundation my junior year of college. It was an enriching experience in many respects.
Heritage designed its program to ensure that interns can glean the most possible from their experience. We were given the chance to attend a number of fascinating lectures, including Constitutional lectures at lunch. In fact, we were frequently permitted to take time off from work to attend other events. Interns are constantly invited to lectures on a number of policy issues, which are hosted by experts from within the Foundation. Because Heritage wants their interns to be well-rounded individuals, we were permitted to attend special luncheons for either men or for women, which often included advice on life, love, and general professionalism, in addition to politics. The talks were always stimulating, and particularly important because they helped strengthen my ideological understanding of conservatism.
The Heritage Foundation is remarkable because it provides its interns with such a wealth of opportunities and knowledge, as well as chances to network with some of the most accomplished conservatives in the United States. College students and recent graduates should jump at the chance to rub elbows with those at the Heritage Foundation.
The Clare Boothe Luce Institute
The Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute (CBLPI) is an organization that provides opportunities to young, conservative women in particular. I first heard about CBLPI through a friend who worked with me at another organization on this list. She told me I should look into CBLPI’s annual conference, since they are willing to send qualified college women for free. (For free!!!)
I was stunned that the Institute was more than happy to fund my spectacular trip to North Carolina, where I was treated to great food, amazing speakers, and encounters with a number of new friends. As a fellow young conservative once told me, there is nothing like being around people who care about politics like you do, and CBLPI is an ideal place for conservative women to meet like-minded people.
CBLPI also hosts a number of events and speakers throughout the year, including the Women of the Year Banquet. The guest of honor this year was the incomparable Kellyanne Conway, who delivered a moving address.
In addition, the Institute helps students bring conservative female speakers to campus, and provides young women with material on how to cope with being harassed for one’s beliefs. You won’t find a more generous organization than CBLPI.
The National Journalism Center
Any young conservative who loves to write should absolutely look into this program. The National Journalism Center (NJC) is a part of Young America’s Foundation (YAF,) which is a preeminent conservative organization. The NJC assists young conservatives with lining up internships at outlets like the Daily Caller – which is where I worked. NJC program interns work four days a week and take classes at NJC on the fifth day, which is a perfect balance. On class days, YAF provides breakfast, lunch, and a multitude of fascinating events, workshops, and speakers. In addition to a stellar internship program, the NJC makes it possible for you to be paid for your work. NJC participants will learn a great deal, not only about journalism, but about politics and life.
I made several friendships at NJC that have withstood the test of time, and I have met countless wonderful people at YAF as well. NJC shaped me into a more principled conservative and a much better writer. They taught me how to navigate the D.C. political scene with greater ease.
I love to write, but it took me a while to realize that a number of my favorite media outlets publish material from freelancers, including college students. In fact, if you want to write for Red Alert Politics, you can join the contributors program.
It is inspiring to see your work on a national platform. It gives you magnifier to your voice and allows you to spread messages most important to you. I have learned from personal experience that writing about an issue one cares about is an excellent way to start a conversation, not just with fellow conservatives, but with anyone who has an interest in politics.
Furthermore, freelance writing can help lead to a full-time career, whether in journalism, media, communication, or another branch of politics.
Being a conservative, particularly as a young person, is challenging. Thankfully, there are a wide array of resources available to young conservatives, particularly in the D.C. area. Such programs encourage new friendships and provide college students with chances to launch their careers–and, most importantly, advance the principles of modern conservatism on campus and beyond.