Forge Fellow Enters The Fray – Jana’s Forge Story

Our Forge Fellows are inspiring.

Last week, Forge Fellow Jana Minich published an Op-Ed in her hometown newspaper, the Lafayette (IN) Journal & Courier. Fresh off completing an elite internship in the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies of The Heritage Foundation, Jana saw that certain folks were trying to push a left-wing gender identity amendment through Lafayette City Council. Jana, like many of her neighbors, believes that this proposed amendment is not good public policy and will hurt the community and its residents, especially women. Jana wrote an excellent article outlining this last point, and I invite you to read it here. 

It’s no small feat to have the courage to engage in today’s public square. Moreover, to face the vitriol and anger that comes when one engages controversial social issues like gender ordinances takes guts and grace. There are many critics, but few willing to put their name on the line in defense of what they believe to be good public policy that benefits their neighbors and community.

We’re really proud of and inspired by Jana and many of her colleagues in the Forge Fellowship. Remember, each Fellow is matched with a mentor who is an expert in the field that that Fellow hopes to impact and influence. Our Fellows are also in communication with each other in order to build lasting friendships and networks of encouragement, strategy, and conviction. And, we help our Forge Fellows land incredible internships and job opportunities in the conservative movement, serving them as a highly-effective “Temp Agency” or “Career Services” arm.

Jana recently told me,

“Forge gave me more than just training; it gave me a network that would become invaluable as I set out to change public policy. I can’t count the ways that Forge has helped to open doors to fantastic opportunities.”

Clarence Thomas Jana Minich (1)
As part of her internship, Jana and a few colleagues were able to meet and spend time getting to know Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas!

Forge was instrumental in helping Jana land her elite internship with The Heritage Foundation, and we matched her with a mentor who works on the type of Civil Liberties and Constitutional Law legal cases that she aspires to in the near future.

As Jana said,

“Connecting with a mentor in the area I’m passionate about was a huge blessing. To be able to talk with someone who has gone before me is a huge advantage, and Forge has excelled in connecting me with a mentor and with others who were willing to coach and encourage me.”

Jana told me that she’s sure that she will face pushback for her public stance against the gender-identity amendment. I’m inspired by her courage. Please pray for her and our other Fellows as they engage their world and culture with truth and grace and seek to bring about human flourishing in their hometowns, states, and nation.

Thank you for your prayers, support, and belief in the vision of Forge Leadership Network. Because of you, Forge is able to equip, mentor, and connect world-changers like Jana.

To help us reach our 3rd quarter fundraising goal, please donate here.


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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.