This month’s “Forge Story” is different and special – we have an alumni family, telling the story of how Forge helped and impacted them in their life and careers.
Luke and Kaelyn Prince attended the Forge Summit in 2017, and quickly became fast friends of the Forge Leadership Network. The Prince family has been called by God to serve in the foster care system, fulfilling their commitment to protect both the born and the unborn.
I hope this story is as encouraging to you as it was to me. On the eve of Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for young people like Kaelyn and Luke who inspire me. I’m deeply encouraged to know this young couple in their early-mid twenties pouring their lives out to serve and care for others by teaching, coaching, serving in their church, and raising up biological and foster children in a loving home.
The Prince Family’s Forge Story
Kaelyn: I was first introduced to Forge when I traveled to Israel with the Passages program. Who knew that some last minute opening on a bus would connect me with an entire network of leaders who held the same values as me? After meeting Adam, Justin, and others involved with Forge, I knew this was a network in which I wanted to be involved.
Before my husband and I attended the Forge Leadership Summit in 2017, I did not have much of an interest in politics, and I had really no idea what was involved in the political process. I knew I had conservative values, and I knew I respected the leaders of Forge, but I was not confident I would gain much by attending. And yet again, a last minute decision–the decision to attend the summit–made a significant impact on my life. Through Forge, my eyes have been opened to the intricacies of the political system and the need for strong conservative leaders seeking to serve communities and defend liberty.
Luke: After completing the Forge program and graduating college, I began my career teaching social studies at a large high school in the Lexington, KY suburbs. One of the classes that is regularly on my course-load is Civics, my favorite class to teach. Civics is a class focused on government and politics both generally and in America specifically. This works out perfectly, as much of the information I learned at Forge is directly related to the content of Civics.
There is one specific way that the Forge program impacts my students every semester. While at Forge, one of the most interesting activities that we participated in was the Legislative Simulation. We were split up into groups and worked to get our bills passed through committees and the full chamber. Not only was it fun, but it was really eye-opening to see the headaches that legislators face every day trying to pass legislation. This is something that I have a hard time explaining to my students; they don’t understand why Congress can’t get bills passed faster (don’t we all?) or why Congress stalls on bills that seem to have bipartisan support. I crafted my own simulation activity (modeled upon the Legislative Simulation at the Forge Leadership Summit) that I use with my civics students every year. This is always one of my students’ favorite activities, and it serves to help them understand the legislative process in a deeper way. Forge has a hand in shaping each one of these future leaders through their influence on me and this specific activity that sparked one of the best, most effective lessons I teach.
Luke and Kaelyn: About a year after we attended Forge, our church hosted a certification class for foster parenting. Despite being young, new parents, we felt God calling us to serve our community through the foster care system. We are passionate about pro-life issues, and we not only want to protect unborn lives but also the children currently in need of loving homes. We have been foster parents to two siblings since April 2019, and we have been vocal advocates for legislation to protect foster parents and foster children.
I (Kaelyn) believe my calling, before anything else, is to be a mother not only to my biological children but to foster children in need of a loving family, too. I am literally raising up the next generation of conservative leaders right here in my home, and I can’t thank Forge enough for helping me solidify my conservative values to pass along to these children. We will continue to advocate for the lives of both the unborn and those born without a loving home, and we feel prepared to be involved in this system because of the lessons we learned through Forge.
A Way to Form More Leaders Like Kaelyn and Luke
I hope you were inspired like I was by this moving edition of the Forge Story Series!
Just this Summer, 75 new young conservatives were able to experience the Forge Leadership Summit in person—without one COVID case! The training and mentorship Forge provides is invaluable to young leaders and the future of our states and nation. This is why I am asking you to give financially to grow the impact of Forge.
Your generosity ensures more leaders like Luke and Kaelyn can have the Forge experience. Thank you for your continued support.
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Forge Leadership Network
Co-Founder & President