Forge Blew Away My Expectations: Esther’s Forge Story

The middle of each month marks one of my favorite occasions: the chance to share with you another testimonial from a young person whose life and future you have impacted. I hope you enjoy June’s edition of the “My Forge Story” series, featuring Forge grad Esther Armbrust. Esther is 24 years old and hails from Columbus, Ohio (where the Forge Leadership Summit is held annually) but has taken the connections she’s made from Forge and translated them to leadership experiences living and serving all over the globe!

Esther’s Forge Story

“Forge Leadership Network has been an incredible launching board for me to engage in my community and political sphere as I transition from a college student into the professional business world. I went reluctantly into the Forge Summit-week long program, not expecting to gain from the experience. I could not have been more wrong.

Not only did I gain new networking and professional skills, I engaged with like-minded peers who were passionate about developing themselves and their communities. I gained a new best friend who will be a bridesmaid in my wedding next summer. I attended with my younger sister, and both of us feel so grateful to have this shared experience in Ohio, Washington, D.C., and in Israel – we will treasure the memories and shared learning experience for life. Both Adam and Justin have encouraged, challenged, and given me invaluable advice, support, and practically helped me through internships, traveling experiences and career development.”

“After the Forge experience in Israel, I heard about the Galilea Fellowship during a Passages lecture by Faydra Shapiro. After applying and being accepted, I recently spent three months living, teaching, and volunteering in Israel. I lived in Nazareth during this time and traveled throughout the country and attended government, philosophy, religion, ethics, history, culture, and Middle Eastern affairs lectures. I feel rich with newfound knowledge that I was exposed to as a result of participation in the Forge program.

While in Israel, I received acceptance in The Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals eleven-month cultural exchange program. I will join 74 other young American’s who will be living throughout Germany and sharing in life, school, and work while representing the United States as young ambassadors to Germany. I am completing my final semester of university this summer and will receive a Bachelor of Science in Logistics with an emphasis in International Business. I look forward to the incredible opportunity to live in Germany and share my worldview and perspective of a young American who believes in conservative values rooted in my Judeo-Christian faith. Forge has helped me feel prepared to confidently move across the world, knowing that I have a meaningful message to share that will have impact on those around me.”

We’re very proud of Esther, and the way she’s representing her family, friends, God, and country throughout the world. Esther’s experience is like many Forge experiences, in that, like a number of Forge grads, she might never work directly in politics as a vocation, but she knew she wanted to engage her culture and world and take steps to discern what that calling might look like. In the last 24 months, God has used connections and friendships she’s made in Forge, her interest in international business and cross-cultural exchange, and her strong character and leadership skills to open up amazing opportunities.

Thank you so much for making it possible for us to invest in the lives of young leaders like Esther and be inspired by their example and friendship.

REMINDER: New, Easy Way to Recommend Students

Help us identity young people like Esther with hearts to impact their culture and world. Recommend an outstanding young person to Forge today.


Thank you for reading this e-newsletter, and I hope to see you next month, if not sooner!


Adam Josefczyk


P.S. If you haven’t yet, please don’t forget to RSVP to the 2019 Forge-For-A-Day and Forge Showcase Reception extravaganza on Friday, July 26, 2019 at the Ohio Statehouse and downtown Columbus. Learn more here. I hope you can join us for a wonderful day of seeing Forge in action and celebrating our first five years!

Adam is passionate about investing his future in the future of students who will become the next innovators in the marketplace, champions of free enterprise, inspiring educators, shapers of culture, and statesmen and stateswomen in government.

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Joseph Backholm is Senior Fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement at Family Research Council. He combines extensive legal, political, and policy experience with a love for the way biblical truth cultivates human flourishing.