This week, The Heritage Foundation welcomes our latest class of interns, part of our Young Leaders Program.
These rising stars in the conservative movement are given unrivaled experiences in public policy. The training they receive as interns, including hands-on work in crafting and promoting conservative solutions, provides invaluable preparation for their future careers.
One of the most important parts of the internship experience is the grounding these young people receive in the principles of America’s Founding. These weekly First Principles lectures give the interns an understanding of the principles of conservative thought that they almost certainly didn’t get in college.
This summer’s interns provided some valuable feedback about the lectures (emphasis added):
- Thank you for the engaging First Principles lectures; I now feel prepared to take on liberals at my college and beyond. —Wade, Davidson College
- The First Principles lunches were one of my favorite parts of my summer. I cannot imagine the internship program without it. I learned more about America’s founding principles over the past ten weeks than I have in all of my political science classes at college. The lectures did not simply teach us what to think, but explained to us the why behind conservative principles. David and Arthur also provided us ways to communicate our founding principles to others who may not agree with us. —Lauren, Virginia Tech
- It’s been a wonderful summer at the Heritage Foundation, and one of my favorite experiences has been to hear you deliver the principles of the founding so eloquently. —Siyao, Baylor University
- I now feel confident to defend the conservative position for every issue. My favorite lectures were our weekly “First Principles” luncheons, where we learned from Heritage’s Principles and Politics staff about the true nature of conservatism. We looked at the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and even assessed how to combat modern liberalism in this day and age. These teachings have rooted my understanding of the founding conservative principles and I will carry these truths with me long after the summer concludes. —Addison, University of Alabama
- I really enjoyed the First Principles lunches. I was extremely grateful to learn about the foundation of conservative policy – the “why” behind the agenda we promote. After these lunches, I am much more confident in my conservative ideologies. I can converse about a wide range of topics without simply scratching the surface but instead feeling comfortable with the principles under the issues. —Haley, Clemson University
- The First Principles lunches reinforced the importance of developing a philosophy of conservatism in a policy-driven world like Washington, D.C. David Azerrad and the other distinguished speakers showed week in and week out that politics is nothing without principles. These lunches, which touched on topics ranging from the pitfalls of libertarianism to the administrative state, were intellectually challenging and provided a forum for the interns to enhance our understanding of America’s Founding principles. The question-and-answer periods were particularly helpful because they ensured that our time here at Heritage would not just be an echo chamber but would allow an opportunity to sharpen and refine what it means to think and act like a conservative. —Robert, Yale University
- First Principles was an excellent time of revisiting the founding principles behind the nation and tackling difficult policy issues that are not often addressed in the classroom. —Emily, Grove City College
- The First Principles Lunches were a very valuable part of my internship as they forced me to think about why I am a conservative and what that means. It is so easy for me to sit and research national security issues with a conservative mindset, but it requires far more effort to think about what my beliefs really are or how I adopted them. I am grateful for David, Arthur, and all the staff who organized the First Principles, and wish we had more. I am so thankful for this important part of the internship. —Kevin, Boston College
- One of the highlights of the internship program is the First Principles lunch, which serves to deepen intern’s understanding of the founding and their ability to articulate conservative principles. This impartation of understanding is future-focused and the key to the next generation of conservative leadership. I am grateful and better for it. ––Ashley, Liberty University
- The First Principles lunch was one of my favorite parts of the internship. We gained knowledge about conservative principles as they apply to our daily lives. These talks enhanced my understanding of the foundation that supports our ideological principles and bolstered my confidence in defending conservative values as I move forward in my career path. –Carissa, Washington and Lee University
Do you think America’s Founding Principles have been deemphasized at colleges today?