I would say that the internship changed my life because it genuinely did. I can’t wait to come back to D.C. and to work for the movement in the future. ~Mimi Teixeira, Heritage intern summer ’17

Heritage believes strongly in preparing the next generation of conservatives for their role in leading our country. 

Through the Young Leaders Program young conservatives from around the country get a chance to work at Heritage and learn about the conservative principles that made this country great.

Yesterday, our summer intern class graduated.

Below is one interns story about her experiences this summer:

“Here’s what the Heritage internship did for me”

by Kathleen Reynolds

As our internships through The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program draw to a close, I want to tell you how grateful we all are for your generous support that made this opportunity possible.

This summer alone, Heritage trained 67 principled and passionate young conservative leaders. As part of our 12-week internship, we have been equipped through meaningful work experiences, thought-provoking lectures and discussions, exceptional community, and mentorships by the dedicated Heritage staff. We learned from experts and we developed a greater grasp of the principles behind our politics. We learned how to communicate these principles and policies. By working closely with Heritage’s renowned policy experts, we have conducted challenging research projects and we’ve gained critical experience in valuable professional skills like resume writing and networking.

My fellow interns and I wanted to take this moment to share with you a few of our favorite aspects and key takeaways from this internship. Below are some of our class reflections:

This summer we learned many things about Heritage, including that it hosts many international guests and dignitaries for both public and private events. We have also been impressed by the number of Heritage staff who have transitioned to the Hill or the administration. We have been encouraged by the culture of the organization – where everyone, no matter the title, is valued and genuinely respected by all other employees.

Some of our favorite memories from this summer included meeting and interacting with many influential individuals like Newt Gingrich, Kellyanne Conway, and Ben Shapiro and hearing from foreign leaders like the President of Romania and President of Ukraine. We came to realize just what a significant venue Heritage is in bringing together important leaders and decision makers. You never knew who you would meet in the elevator! This, in addition to the time Heritage’s own experts took to brief us and invest in us was very impactful. We also enjoyed the many opportunities to refine our professional focus, and were touched by the willingness and eagerness of employees to share with us and to assist. Many of us also had our first articles published, whether that was in The Daily Signal or a Heritage research publication, highlighting Heritage’s willingness to showcase its interns.

When it comes to key takeaways – lessons Heritage taught us that we look forward to carrying on with us – here are a few things the class had to say:

  • We learned: “the power of networking, and the power of associations. Doors open to you when you have taken the initiative to go to new places and meet new people.”
  • We learned: “how important it is to have friends who share your values to keep you grounded and help you make the right decisions. D.C. is a big city full of ambition and temptation, and it would be easy to be swept away by it without good friends.”
  • We gained: “the knowledge of being able to articulate what [we] stand for, rather than believing in a platform of knowing what [we] stand against.”
  • We learned: how to articulate, defend, and promote, our conservative principles and solutions, and are now prepared “to take the debate to our college campuses.”

According to one Heritage intern:

This internship has greatly enhanced my understanding of Conservatism. The First Principles lunches taught me the the foundations of conservative philosophy. The lectures and policy briefings showed me how these policies based on Conservative principles benefit all of American society. The practical experience and philosophical training that I received from Heritage will prove invaluable as I seek to advance Conservatism in America.

And as Max Morrison, the homeland and cyber security intern, put it:

I sincerely appreciate the effort, funds, and time that went into providing us all with this wonderful opportunity, and that the energy was not wasted because you’ve trained the next generation of leaders in the conservative movement.

How true this is! There are 67 of us in the summer intern program. 67 distinct individuals with unique callings and personal passions, but a common purpose. As my friends have highlighted above, we know what we believe. We know why we believe it. We know how to articulate, defend, and promote our beliefs. In short, we’re not your average 20-somethings. And as we now leave for our college campuses and careers across the country, thanks to Heritage, we are well prepared to spread our conservative values. As Dr. Feulner says, there are no permanent victories, no permanent defeats, only the permanent battle of ideas. We have the ideas, the solutions. And so with grace and humility we will continue to break through the liberal echo chambers on college campuses and in society, boldly and effectively confronting the left-wing ideology that sweeps up so many, and encouraging our conservative peers to do the same.

Heritage has equipped us, empowered us, and challenged us to do this and more. This summer, we have seen firsthand your and Heritage’s inspirational dedication to investing in us– the young conservative leaders of today– and we are forever grateful. Your dedication is ensuring American values and principles are restored and secured. You are truly shaping the future of the conservative movement. Thank you.

-Kathleen Reynolds, summer intern 2017

Heritage 2017 summer intern class. 

Do you believe in Heritage’s mission to shape the next generation of conservative leaders? Why or why not?

Comments (30)

stephen palmer - August 11, 2017

Definitely they are making a big difference. The program is the only one in the Country that is working toward stabilizing the mess we are in. The very fact that our somewhat conservative government is using these resources to build a more conservative base is a light at the end of a very long tunnel. The tunnel is long because I have never seen conservatives under such a massive attack as they are now from radical leftist democrats who are in fact (history) fascists. I have listened to many speeches and interviews of these people and they actually (I think) believe this is the way to go. They act like they are under some kind of spell that has given them tunnel vision and even when presented with facts still adhere to unconstitutional and unmoral principals. The more conservatives that we can feed into the system gives us hope. I am truly sorry that more conservatives do not take a stand. The word must go out or we are doomed.

Marvin W Earle - August 11, 2017

I will watch the only proven positive way for true equality to make its struggle forward. Thank You for giving my friends names.

Rita Misero - August 11, 2017

This is really wonderful!! Getting to the younger generation is vital. We need to change the liberal culture. I don’t know how you reach out to these young adults,but it’s great and we need more of it. Do you go to high school and college campuses? The liberal thinking “adults” that run these institutions is scary and a big obstacle.

Enoch B. Thweatt, Jr. - August 11, 2017

May God give each one the courage to not only endure the attacks on them that will come, but to give them the wisdom and courage to make the message plain! Keep up this extremely valuable work.

Kathleen - August 11, 2017

They are the future, they will make a difference after I read each story I was so proud , of the students …and proud of The Heritage Foundation ! The Vision they perceive is amazing especially in the field of Cyber Security ! The younger generation is vital and the awareness of The Heritage Foundation the guidance and direction you are teaching these young adults would give any parent pride. Thank You !

Martin Markiewicz - August 11, 2017

I totally believe in Heritage’s mission. We need a constant influx of smart young conservatives who are active in our government. Where else are they being developed? I can think of Hillsdale College and not hardly any others. Keep up the good work.

Ken Struttmann - August 11, 2017

I agree 100% with Enoch. If we are not to be doomed, we must bring God back into the U.S.A. We could start by returning Christ to His birthday,Christmas. The Libs have now devised a new title, i.e. The Holiday Party ,Season ,etc. instead of Christmas Party, Season, etc. We won’t be fooled- they still have “Christmas” trees, stockings hung, Santa Clauses etc. in their “Holiday” paraphenalia ,e.g. We still call them Christmas trees in my family. What a bunch of hipocrites!!!

Douglas Weise - August 11, 2017

It is truly inspirational to think of these 67 young folks going back to their campuses and beyond carrying the ideals of conservatism and the ability to share the same in a positive manner.
May God bless you all!

G. ALLAN BARNES - August 11, 2017

Without groups like Heritage, ACLJ, MRC, YAF, et al, the conservative cause would be extinct.
The real and truly daunting task will be to stop then reverse the brainwashing/indoctrination of our children, in addition to colleges/universities. It’s encouraging to see once quiet or marginalized conservative groups speaking out in greater numbers than I’ve seen in decades.
May God continue to watch over and guide Heritage and others, to give voice to those who see their country sinking into moral, ethical sewer, devoid of principles.

William Rabolli - August 11, 2017

Absolutely. Keep up the great work. These left leaning professors at our learning institutions need replacing immediately . Hat tip to you all.

Bob England - August 11, 2017

These young people give us hope. We just need so many more of them. We need Heritage duplicated multitude of times to do what they are doing. My prayers are with you. The libs have such a hold can we drain the swamp and replace the educational professors before we go over the cliff?
God bless your work.
Bob England Sr.

Tom Lanners - August 11, 2017

Heritage does great work. Training Conservative leaders for the future matters. A shout out to Dr. Larry Arnn President of Hillsdale College, and the work they also do to defend the Constitution, and train people.
I give to both in a big way.
The comments mentioning God, were spot on, this nation was great because it’s people were virtuous, and our Founders knew that to maintain our Republic, we needed an educated, moral citizenry. Today, unfortunately, we have neither.
I pray, play with my grandchildren, give to Heritage, Hillsdale, Intellectual Takeout, and Center for the American Experiment.
God Bless!

BOBBY E. RICHARDSON - August 12, 2017


James M. Phillips - August 12, 2017

My meager contributions to Heritage always seem inadequate in light of all that needs to be accomplished. What I see in these young people encourages me that it is money well invested and spurs me to want to do more.

Author Steven Lawrence - August 16, 2017

Thank you, James, for your support.

No contribution is too small and when you put it together with thousands of other members’ contributions it DOES make a huge difference.

We agree. Investing in the next generation is one of the most important things we can do.

Thanks again for support that makes this work possible.

Robert Berkowitz - August 12, 2017

It comes down to a future based on facts and a cost based analysis. This will be enhanced when the singularity is at our doorstep.
Conservative government is the only way that we can reach our ultimate potentials.

June Wilson - August 12, 2017

Yes I do because the Heritage Foundation represents America better than any organization I know of. I have limited education and my words are not the best but I follow the Heritage news because I truly believe in your cause. You should be so proud of the 52 former employees who will be working for our President. Thank you.

Jerry Metcalf - August 12, 2017

Yes keep up the good work. You must fight against the lies of the Obama Foundation.

Mrs. Phyllis Eix - August 12, 2017

We need Conservative torchbearers in every generation, or our Constitutional liberties may be lost. I’m thankful for the Heritage Foundation and Heritage Action, for all their efforts, and their many successes, in striving toward this goal. They will continue to have my support.

Geminiano Bulos - August 12, 2017

Please get in a working relationship with the Young Americans Foundation inspired by President Ronald Reagan. They saved Rancho Cielo, the Western White House in Santa Barbara, CA.

Libby - August 12, 2017

Having met a few former Heritage interns last fall, we were so impressed with their clear knowledge of conservatism and with their passion to empower others with their knowledge. They will indeed lead this generation into a hopefully more Christian and more traditionally conservative arena in the future.

Geminiano Bulos - August 12, 2017

Godspeed. Patience. Remember , it took them 53 years to creep in to our academia. Arm yourself with knowledge and sharp wit. We need you guys to win back our nation.

David Kennedy - August 12, 2017

Yes. The younger generation will be superseding us old timers. They need to find out how to participate in returning America to the same kind of country that I was brought up 81 years ago.

Susan Blandina Jones - August 12, 2017

ABSOLUTELY! It’s really encouraging to see so many Heritage folks feeding into the current administration. The cream is being skimmed off, so more can rise!

Howard Shoemaker - August 13, 2017

Once again Heritage is doing a great job by getting the younger generations on board to realize what our country had back in the early Twentieth Century – love and commit-meant to helping our fellow countrymen.

Ann Sharon Pelletier - August 13, 2017

Suggest you think about developing a mobil Heritage program and partner with those conservative colleges who would welcome your team for a semester. Work out course credits and/or options to intern at Heritage for one semester. Saturate the environment … go to them … it would benefit the country.

Ryan Lee - August 13, 2017

Yes I definitely believe in Heritage’s mission and hope its a never ending process. The liberals had been doing this for decades and they had infiltrated into all kinds of prominent positions in all areas.
But is 12 weeks enough of an internship?

Author Steven Lawrence - August 16, 2017

Thanks, Ryan!

We’ve found 12 weeks works well with interns schedules since many of them are still enrolled in college.

Virginia Blackburn - August 15, 2017

I absolutely believe that unless we train qualified conservative leaders, our country will fail.

Robert Petersen - August 16, 2017

It is clear from your studies that a severe decrease in marriages in the inner cities is the cause of most of the homicides and crime. Why then has there been no changes in the anti marriage provisions of welfare laws? Can’t you influence Mr. Trump on this?

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