News Category: LI's Conservative Leaders

State Chairman of Florida College Republicans
State Chairman of Florida College Republicans

Stephen McDuffie, a 24-year-old born on a U.S. Air Force base in West Germany just months before the Berlin Wall fell, is now state chairman of the Florida Federation of College Republicans (FFCR).

“My role is to lead and be the face of the College Republicans to our state,” Stephen explained.

As chair – a role he started in April – he manages the executive board and officers and represents FFCR to the media, the Republican Party of Florida, the Republican National Committee, and the College Republican National Committee.

Liberty Isn’t Free: It Must Be Fought For
Liberty Isn’t Free: It Must Be Fought For

Teri Capshaw, a homeschooler from South Dakota, worked as a reporter during college. After graduation, she was hired as an evening news producer in Boise, Idaho, where she met her husband -- before starting her own sewing business. Now, she takes her professional background into meetings with donors and potential partners for Campaign for Liberty, where she serves as the donor relations officer. Read on for more about Teri and the upcoming Liberty Political Action Conference.

Ballerina Dances Her Way Into Colorado Politics
Ballerina Dances Her Way Into Colorado Politics

Alexa Van Anne isn’t your ordinary 19-year-old.

She’s a competitive ballerina, a committed conservative activist, and dreaming of running for office herself – but first, she’s got to finish college.

Alexa got her start in politics working for the reelection of her congressman, Rep. Mike Coffman, in 2012.

“Working for the Coffman campaign marked my entrance into politics. I sought out the opportunity on my own having been interested in politics my entire life,” Alexa said.

As area campaign director for Mike Coffman for Congress, Alexa coordinated door-to-door canvassing and phone banking. As November neared, Alexa became more involved in working on projects with the field director for her district.

The Koehler Family Trains at LI
The Koehler Family Trains at LI

At the age of 20, Jessica Koehler has already accomplished much.

She finished college with a Bachelor’s degree in just two years, taught English to children in Taiwan, and is now helping her father run for state representative in Ohio, where she and her family live.

Her path into politics began with TeenPact Leadership Schools, which teaches students how to lead through hands-on activities such as mock legislatures. At the age of 14 while learning how her state government functions, Jessica discovered how she and others her age could impact politics.

“Getting my age group involved in political activities is very important to me,” Jessica said. “It’s important because my generation has been told again and again that it is acceptable to just sit back and let the world run its course, and that getting involved will not make a difference.”

“LI Completely Changed My Life!”
“LI Completely Changed My Life!”

Growing up in a very patriotic family, it's only fitting that Jean Morrow end up working full time at the Institute for Justice after summer internships at Family Research Council, The Heritage Foundation, and the Leadership Insitutute. “As LI’s development department intern, I had the opportunity to work on numerous direct mail, major gifts, and foundations projects,” Jean said. "These projects taught me integral fundraising and non-profit management skills which I plan to utilize in my position at the Institute for Justice.” 

TN Councilman, the Good Samaritan
TN Councilman, the Good Samaritan

For Wiley Bird, polycystic kidney disease left him kidney-less after a failed transplant 10 years ago and more recently, many emergency surgeries, hooked to a dialysis machine, without a job and on disability, and once again on the transplant waiting list – hoping for a miracle. Enter Nick Steward, a city councilman in Tennessee and Leadership Institute graduate, who donated his kidney to Wiley, a stranger.

Let's Honor America’s Heroes this July 4th
Let's Honor America’s Heroes this July 4th

Heroes should die famous.

Sadly, many don’t, and that’s why Freethink Media—a production company started in 2010 that’s devoted to telling stories about freedom, human well-being, and achievement—produced the heartwarming, award-winning documentary film Honor Flight.

And Jo Jensen, the marketing director for Freethink Media and also a Leadership Institute graduate, has been busy this year raising awareness for Honor Flight in part because it’s personal to her.

Lovin’ Data
Lovin’ Data

Research drives policy messaging. Well, at least for smart conservatives.

For Abbey Brokos, she’s found a career doing research in her passion: political communications.

First she worked for the Republican National Committee as a junior research analyst, and now she’s a political communications specialist at FP1 Strategies.

Before that, she interned at Concerned Women for America, the Leadership Institute, and the State Department.

From Campaign Loss to Student Body President Win
From Campaign Loss to Student Body President Win

Have you heard the famous proverb: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again?”

For Lee Cohen, trying again proved very successful.

In 2012, he ran for student body president at Indiana University South Bend and lost by just 57 votes. This year, running against two other candidates, Lee received 55.9 percent of the vote, while the second place person received 35.9 percent and the last received 8.2 percent. In other words, Lee overwhelmingly won 1.5 times more votes than the second highest candidate and 6.5 times more votes than the third.

So, what changed?

Teenage Voice Making (Air)Waves
Teenage Voice Making (Air)Waves

Jayson Veley, 19, already has done so much: he's been a spy; he's founded Junior Factor Nation -- a network of radio programming, video clips, and columns all created by teens and 20-somethings; he's appeared as a guest on Glenn Beck's show (in 2010); he's authored a book, called The Other Side; and he just finished his freshman year in college.

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