Seeing Our Forge Fellows In Action!

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to spend a long weekend catching up with several of our Forge Fellows. I was in Washington, D.C. in order to attend CPAC to recruit conservative college students to the 2016 Forge Leadership Summit (to be held July 26-30, 2016). While in town, I was able to stay with two of our Forge Fellows – Peter Burns and Jordan Wood – and their roommates. The visit with them was so encouraging to me that I wanted to share it with you.

Jordan Wood and Peter Burns are two of our top-notch Fellows, young people who it’s just a real joy to advocate for and connect to opportunities for growth. With the help of Forge, both moved out to our Nation’s Capital this summer to begin internships with elected officials that shared their values. Jordan was interning for his hometown congressman (Brett Guthrie, R-KY) and Peter for Senator Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign. Through long hours at the office and excellent work ethic, both Jordan and Peter turned these internships into full-time paid positions on staff within two months!

The culture of D.C. can be difficult to navigate for a young conservative Christian, so Jordan and Peter were blessed to be able to encourage and support each other and, when the opportunity arose, become roommates. They understood the importance of having strong Christian fellowship with a friend who shared their deepest values and priorities.  Proverbs 27:17 says “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” I’m proud of Jordan and Peter for taking this admonition to be a faithful friend to heart.

I’m proud of so many of our Fellows for making the most of the many wonderful internship and job opportunities that are being presented to them with the help of Forge Leadership Network. But even more so, I’m inspired by how many of them have embraced the virtue of serving and blessing one another in deep friendship and community.

Jordan and Peter also benefitted greatly from the guidance of stellar mentors who are leaders in the arena of conservative policy and legislation and real men of integrity. All of our Fellows have been impacted by the mentor they have been matched with – someone of character and integrity who is a principled leader in their vocation in the public square (whether that be policy, politics, law, business, media, education, etc). We at Forge are incredibly grateful to all of the men and women who selflessly give of their time, energy, and expertise to mentor each of our Forge Fellows. These individuals give of themselves and truly “pay it forward,” blessing our young people with their wisdom and experience.

My time with Jordan and Peter encouraged me so greatly because it was a tangible way to see how the vision of Forge is being lived out to our highest hopes. We’re seeing young people of character and integrity make the most of opportunities that Forge facilitates for them, spurring one another along in these professional endeavors and the journey of life and faith.

Jordan and Peter in front of their apartment as they were leaving for work in the morning.

What They Have Learned:

Every experience comes with challenges and opportunities; Jordan and Peter have certainly learned this quickly. Jordan has learned some of the challenges of being a principled conservative on the Hill, having his eyes opened to the fact that many members of Congress fail to act on the convictions they espouse to their constituents. And Peter experienced the sharp ups and downs of a major presidential primary campaign, in the end, dealing with the defeat or withdrawal of the candidate (and cause) he believed in and worked tirelessly towards. Peter recently told me:

“I have no regrets, in fact I’ve never been more proud to have worked for Senator Rubio. I fully intend to continue fighting for the optimistic conservative future that Marco so eloquently envisioned and articulated.”

Jordan and Peter both expressed how thankful they were to Forge for helping them connect to so many wonderful opportunities. This is really a thanks to you for partnering with Forge to make it all possible. I hope this newsletter gives you a tangible way of seeing how our investment in the next generation of conservative leaders is already start to bear great fruit!

Would you donate to help us continue to make such a real difference?

Student Recruitment In Full Swing: 

Recruitment for the 2016 Forge Leadership Summit is in full swing. We find the highest quality students by allowing universities, Christian schools and other high schools, debate leagues, homeschool organizations, and friends like you to nominate their most qualified students.

I also continue to promote the 2016 Summit on the radio and in person to conservative student groups at colleges across the Midwest and high school and homeschool groups like speech and debate tournaments. Needless to say, I’m very busy recruiting top-notch students for this year’s Forge Leadership 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 Register? 

(Of course, you can also email me – [email protected] – 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 so much.


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Adam Josefczyk
Executive Director
[email protected]

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.