“The friendships I have developed at Forge have opened countless doors for me” – Bradley’s Forge Story

It’s a privilege to watch our young leaders take advantage of the Forge Summit, Mentorship Academy, and Fellows Network to hone their skills and accelerate their careers. I love seeing their influence and impact on our states and nation grow and grow.

One of those students is Bradley Haley, who attended the Forge Leadership Summit in 2023 and is a current Forge Academy Fellow. As you will see, his experience in the Forge Network has deeply impacted his work, and like so many other students and alumni, the friendships and connections he has built through Forge have opened doors for him personally and professionally.

I am honored to share his story with you, and I hope it encourages you that the next generation of conservative leaders are equipped and ready to take on the challenges we face.


Do you know a young leader like Bradley who should attend a Forge Summit this summer? It’s not too late for them to apply – Nominate them HERE!

“The friendships I have developed at Forge have opened countless doors for me”

“Over the past seven months Forge has turned my interests into an actual career path. Before coming to Forge, pursuing a career in politics and culture seemed like a foolish pipe dream. Prior to Forge, there wasn’t a realistic path for me to fight for the ideas and beliefs that are most important to me. After all, I was just a kid from a small Appalachian town. Forge has given me confidence that I can channel my love for deep ideas into an impactful career of service to my community, state, and nation.

Shortly before I learned about Forge I came up with an idea to start a publication for young conservatives. The main problem holding me back was finding young conservative writers and editors who shared my vision of restoring American culture. Forge changed that.

During the five day Forge Summit I met dozens of people around my age who shared my interest in politics and culture. Many were intrigued by the idea I had to start a publication. I certainly didn’t come into Forge with the expectation of finding writers or editors, but during the Summit several people expressed genuine interest in helping me get the publication off the ground. New Guard Press began publishing articles a few months after the Summit, and we now have a team of nearly twenty talented young conservative writers, editors, and social media assistants from all across the country. The Forge Summit was the point where my idea turned into reality.


Bradley outside the United Nations

It truly was the combination of my friends in the Forge Academy and the leadership of Forge that paved the way for me to land my internship this summer.

The friendships I have developed at Forge have opened countless doors for me. New Guard Press continues to grow its readership and writing pool. Forge also connected me with several people in the legal field, who encouraged me to get involved with the Federalist Society, where I now serve on the student board of my college’s chapter. Forge’s training in networking and conservative principles served me well when I had the privilege of attending the United Nations’ Conference on the Status of Women to experience international politics first hand. Forge was also instrumental in helping me secure an internship at the Heritage Foundation.

Forge connected me with several young leaders who have interned and worked in Washington D.C., and they encouraged me to look into internships. When I reached out to Adam Josefczyk at Forge and told him that I was trying to land an internship for the summer, he replied to me within a few hours and by the end of the day had connected me with someone at Heritage Foundation who interviewed me the next day. It truly was the combination of my friends in the Forge Academy and the leadership of Forge that paved the way for me to land my internship at the Heritage this summer.

Members of the 2023-2024 Forge Mentorship Academy in Washington, D.C.

However, the best part of Forge are the friendships that I’ve made with people who share my values and interests. The Mentorship Academy is full of incredibly accomplished and successful people. Yet, our interactions are interestingly devoid of discussions about our accomplishments. Interactions among Forge students usually consist of conversations about our faith, the political landscape, and how we can help each other in our careers and personal lives. The same is true of the Forge Staff. They go out of their way to interact with us on a personal level. I am very thankful to be part of Forge and I know that whatever future success I have will be in no small part due to Forge’s impact on my life.


 Thank you for reading Bradley’s story. He has been an integral part of the success of the 2023-2024 Mentorship Academy class, and he’s accomplished all of this as a freshman in college!

If you would like to continue and expand our work to help more young conservatives like Bradley turn their aspirations into reality, would you consider a financial gift to Forge today?

Support Forge

Thank You!

Adam Josefczyk
Forge Leadership Network
President & Co-Founder

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.

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.