I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas. For the final Forge Story of 2020, we’re honored to celebrate Jessica Kramer, a 2016-2017 Academy graduate of Forge. In this edition of the “My Forge Story” series, Jessica shares how Forge has impacted and blessed her in her career and friendships.
Jessica graduated from Liberty University in 2016 with a Bachelors in Government: Politics and Policy. She is currently a video host at Media Research Center, with some other freelance gigs on the side, including writing for the Institute for Human Ecology. She loves political theology, apologetics, and Church history, and is passionate about issues pertaining to men and women within the context of sexual ethics and the family. Her hobbies include being an amateur film connoisseur, debating about “everything and nothing,” and enjoying beautiful architecture.
We hope you enjoy her story!
Jessica Kramer’s Forge Story
“When I attended the Forge Leadership Summit back in 2016, I had just graduated from Liberty University and felt a bit adrift, unsure of where to steer my sails. And while that is still somewhat true, looking back, I can see Forge afforded me unique opportunities that I hadn’t received from any other conservative network or conference. I gained confidence, too—something which, like many post-grad politicos, I was unaware I lacked.
“Having already interned in Washington, D.C., I had attended my fair share of conservative conferences. Most of them touted principles of “faith, family, and freedom,” rife with platitudes and talking points with little to no substance or depth. However, after investigating the opportunity Forge presented, I realized the program offered more than that. In fact, the very fact that it was back in Ohio piqued my curiosity since at the time I had thought about going back home. The thought “How could something so Christian and conservative be located in Ohio?” thrilled and beckoned me.
“I entered the Forge legislature confident about the bill that I presented. But Forge still forced me outside my comfort zone, by providing two exciting opportunities.
“One was to “run” for office in our “Campaign in a Day” challenge. I am someone who has never run for so much as student council in her entire life, but I ended up volunteering for the candidate role in our group. Although I walked in with pretty low expectations, we ended up winning. This small experience taught me to jump at the chances that present themselves.
“The other opportunity was to speak on camera for the first time, which is, oddly enough, what I now do professionally. Although I never studied journalism and did not have previous media experience, my communication skills ended up landing me a job in on-camera video work, starting at The Daily Caller News Foundation and now at Media Research Center. I also write essays and opinion pieces that have been featured in The American Conservative, The Federalist, Washington Examiner, and The Resurgent. And, in an effort to expand my freelancing portfolio, I am starting some contracting for the Institute of Human Ecology at Catholic University of America.
“But perhaps the most defining aspect of my association with Forge is the network of people continuing the conversation. Friendships formed from Forge have proved to be the most fruitful for me, not only because these friendships are a good in and of themselves, but because these friendships helped aid me in my theological conversion to Catholicism, and even now, allow me to aid others in their own faith. Socrates said, “an unexamined life is not worth living,” and I agree. If I have learned anything in the years since college it is that the best time to search for Truth (i.e. the Transcendentals) is the present, and that the seeking never ends. Between email threads, Facebook group chats, and meet ups in person (even with those who weren’t in my class year) – the ultimate things – man’s end – are in constant discussion through Forge. That is a gift.”
Will you help Forge cultivate more leaders like Jessica?
I hope you were inspired by Jessica’s “Forge Story.”
Would you consider making a 2020 donation to Forge so that more young conservative leaders like Jessica can receive the training, mentorship, and life-changing friendships that Forge provides? It’s invaluable to young leaders and crucial to the future of our states and nation.
With your help, we are growing the future of conservative leadership.
Here’s to a great 2021!
Forge Leadership Network
Co-Founder & President
P.S. It’s never too early to recommend students for the 2021 Forge Leadership Summit. Click here to recommend a student today!