Freedom Foundation Youth
Conference recommended by
MHS school counselors
By Linda Petersen
Oct. 19, 2017
MANTI—As high school students contemplate college, many of them are looking for ways to stand out on their college and scholarships applications. Helping them in this process are their school counseling offices where counselors have access to many opportunities that will help these students excel.
One of those, the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge’s Spirit of America Youth Conference, was recently highlighted by Manti High Counseling on its Facebook page.
“It’s a really good opportunity for our juniors to go and increase their leadership abilities,” said Manti High School Counselor Mandy Thomas.
Thomas said she has had some interest from students since the posting and is hoping some choose to apply.
The Freedoms Foundation is dedicated to teaching the concept of engaged and responsible citizenship to communities across America. One of the ways it does this is through its campus at Valley Forge, Pa. where several youth leadership conferences are held each year.
The Utah chapter usually sponsors about 60 students from across the state who attend the conferences in March and April.
“Our goal is to have at least one student from every high school in the state attend every year,” Utah Freedoms Foundation chapter President Dennis Randall said.
The four-day conference includes lectures, leadership workshops, living history presentations and historical tours including visits to Valley Forge, Independence Hall, the National Constitution Center and, if there is time, Ben Franklin’s grave and the Betsy Ross home. Students will also participate in the Free Enterprise Challenge where student groups will develop their own product and marketing plan.
The Utah Freedoms Foundation chapter foots all but $400 of the $1,200-$1,300 it costs to send each student (that price includes airfare). Participants are expected to come up with the remaining $400 themselves.
Students can pick up an application at their school counseling center. Along with the application, they need to submit an essay and plan on an interview with Utah Freedoms Foundation chapter members.
Randall said they look for students who are able to engage with others, who, they believe, can get the most out of the experience. In Utah, about 80 to 90 high school juniors apply each year. They try to send as many as the chapter can afford, Randall said.