VIDEO: Rachel’s Story and Student Recruitment Update

Supporters of Forge recently received a Year-End Report in the mail. In that packet, they met Peter Burns and Ian Swanson, two of our Forge Fellows. Peter has translated his Forge training and mentoring into an important full-time job on a leading presidential campaign, and Ian has applied the skills and connections he gained through Forge to enhance his campaign for Nebraska State Legislature.

This month, I want to introduce you to another exceptional Forge Fellow and give you an update on student recruitment for the 2016 Forge Leadership Summit.

Rachel’s Story:

No student was more highly recommended to us for the 2015 Forge Summit that Rachel Del Guidice. Her reputation for servant leadership, thoughtfulness, conviction, and communication skills preceded her, as she was recommended by a number of different pro-life and cultural leaders in Ohio and Washington, D.C.

WATCH: “Rachel Shares Reflections on 2015 Forge Leadership Summit”


Sure enough, Rachel was a standout at the Summit and is making the most of her Fellowship, being mentored by the brilliant Jessica Prol, an accomplished writer, editor, and policy-mind now serving on the senior staff of inspiring freshman U.S. Senator Ben Sasse. Rachel, like Jessica, is a tremendously gifted writer, and it was a natural mentoring match.

Here’s what Rachel has to say about Forge, in her own words:

“The Forge Leadership Network is truly one of the most grounded, articulate, and knowledgeable organizations that I have ever had the honor to be involved with. Forge is faithful to its conservative convictions yet always presents a balanced view of issues during scholarly debates between students. Forge consistently sends clear, concise updates on matters of national discussion and encourages polite dialogue and mutual understanding. Forge’s board, speakers, and mentors are some of the most knowledgeable professionals in the country and the world about the principles, policy, process, and practical skills necessary to impact government and society. Attending the Forge Leadership Summit was one of the most intellectually enriching experiences of both my high school and college careers. During that intensive 4.5 day leadership summit, I learned more about the legislative process than I did in any of my high school and college classes. The Forge Leadership Network has already begun paving the way to a revitalization of true conservative leadership in American government and society.”

Rachel also has experienced Forge’s networking power on her behalf firsthand:

“Due to the fantastic mentors and connections of the Forge Leadership Network, I have been able to write stories for national publications such as The Daily Signal and meet nationally respected statesmen. The Forge Leadership Network has given me the knowledge and desire to be a voice of conservative leadership in today’s society.”

Student Recruitment Highlights:

It’s really exhilarating to see students get excited when they hear about the Forge Leadership Summit for the first time. One of the most special parts of my job on the recruiting trail is to hear a student say, “I’m so excited to apply for the 2016 Forge Leadership Summit. You have no idea how much I’ve prayed for and looked for something like this program! How soon can I apply?”

This is truly rewarding feedback, and it’s becoming really common as demand for the 2016 Forge Summit continues to increase. As I write this to you, almost 50 students ages 16-24 have already pre-registered on our website – so that they can be the very first to get the alert when we open up this year’s online application (next week)! We are well on the way to our goal of selecting 99 phenomenal young conservatives for the 2016 Forge Leadership Summit.

We recruit through word of mouth and personal recommendation from friends of Forge like you, conservative leaders, university professors, high school teachers and guidance counselors, and more. I also travel throughout Ohio and neighboring states to speak to groups of students.

Just this past Thursday, I was honored to spend time with an inspiring group of students from Franciscan University in Steubenville, OH. Franciscan boasts a strong reputation as perhaps the leading conservative Catholic university in the nation, and many of the students there are high achievers grounded in their faith.

Rachel helps lead the Franciscan U chapter of YAF (Young America’s Foundation), a conservative student activist group on many campuses throughout the country. Rachel and other YAF leaders like Tommy Valentine were gracious hosts and invited me to speak to the students before their Iowa GOP Debate-watching party last Thursday night.

Adam speaks at Franciscan U

We talked about how Forge is here for them to bridge the gap between the good career dreams God has put on their hearts and the practical skills training, mentoring, and networking needed to prepare them for the roles and impact they aspire to. We encouraged them to attend the 2016 Forge Leadership Summit.

The response was fantastic; a number of the 100 students in attendance came up to me afterward to ask more about Forge and tell me they were planning to apply to the 2016 Summit.

If you know a 16-24 year old who would be a great candidate for the 2016 Forge Leadership Summit, would you please send him or her here to Pre-Register? (Of course, you can also email me a student’s contact info and background if you prefer)

Thank you for reading this monthly update! God bless you, and thank you for your continued interest in Forge. I appreciate it very much.


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Adam Josefczyk

Forge Leadership Network

[email protected]

P.S. I would be honored if you would donate to Forge today to help us invest in the lives and futures of more young conservatives like Rachel. Thank you!.

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.