April 1, 2014 | By Jessica Yu
“Get off your butt and do something! Stop complaining about the size of government and be proactive about our problems. We can't afford to just sit around and talk philosophy with each other. If you want to make a change, stop reading and start doing,” Leadership Institute graduate Brandon Cestrone who is the northeast regional director for Young Americans for Liberty said.
“At some point books only become a crutch,” he continued. “People would rather read political theory than learn practical application. Don't make this mistake. Take what you learn and put it to action. That's where the magic happens.”
Brandon Cestrone has made significant contributions to advancing liberty through youth activism. He’s helped start 50 college Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) chapters at universities stretching from West Virginia all the way to Maine.
Originally from western Pennsylvania, Brandon attended Slippery Rock University and earned a Masters of Arts degree in History. While in college, he cofounded the YAL chapter at Slippery Rock University.
“Cofounding the YAL chapter at Slippery Rock University has open doors that I never knew existed! Without having started my chapter I would not be where I am today,” he said. “It afforded me the chance to prove my commitment to the liberty movement and YAL's mission.”
Brandon has trained existing YAL chapters on recruitment, leadership development, and fundraising as part of his duties. His other responsibilities include management of the organization’s database, YAL University, and some fundraising.
“I owe a lot to the Leadership Institute,” Brandon said. “They helped me start and plan my first semester as a YAL chapter. With the Leadership Institute’s (LI) guidance, and the help of my chapter members, we grew to be a mighty voice for liberty on campus.”
You too can get help from LI’s Campus Leadership Program. Click here for all the free resources you may have.
Brandon has taken LI’s Youth Leadership School, On-Camera Television Workshop, and the Campaign Management School.
“The Leadership Institute has been a great resource for my professional journey by offering training, guidance, and a helping hand,” he said.
YAL is hosting 12 state conventions across the country where young people can attend a one-day training and networking event designed to build stronger state cooperation, improve activists' effectiveness, and inspire attendees to do even more to advance the cause of liberty.
Conventions that have already taken place include: New York, Idaho, Arkansas, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Florida is coming up this weekend.
LI is partnering as a Gold Sponsor at all 12 YAL conventions and will host grassroots activism and messaging training during the program. For more information about these YAL conventions and to sign up, please click here.
After college, Brandon worked at a major retail store as their sales manager and “was on the fast track,” he says.
There, he sharpened his public speaking skills and learned to build relationships with customers, which he believes “are two key components to effective grassroots activism.”
“But, my passion has always been to advance liberty. So, I took a chance interning for YAL and it paid off big,” he said.
YAL Founder and Executive Director Jeff Frazee also got his start through the Leadership Institute, where he worked prior to starting the organization. YAL Director of Programs & Operations Ed King also worked at the Leadership Institute before moving over to YAL.
“The Leadership Institute is an organization dedicated to helping you succeed not only on your campus as a political activist, but also in your professional career. With a large variety of training courses and resources, you don't need to look anywhere else for help,” Brandon said.
To register for an Leadership Institute training like Brandon, click here.
Please congratulate Brandon Cestrone for advancing liberty among young Americans, and please applaud him for receiving LI’s Conservative Leader-in-Training Award.
To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member for the Conservative Leader Award or Conservative Leader-In-Training Award, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Lauren Day, at Lauren@LeadershipInstitute.org.