The Next Big Names in Liberty: Our 2017 Emerging Leaders
America’s Future Foundation is pleased to introduce the 2017 Emerging Leaders. These students and recent graduates have been chosen from many nominated applicants across the country. They represent the future of the liberty movement and have already influenced their peers in favor of free market ideas on campus.
We look forward to their future accomplishments in the liberty movement and invite them to use AFF’s resources to continue influencing the Millennial generation for free markets. Join us in honoring them at AFF’s Welcome to Washington event.
Razi studies Politics and History at Hillsdale College where he serves as president of his senior class. Throughout his time at Hillsdale College, Razi has interned at the House Committee on Armed Services and The Heritage Foundation, the latter of which he represented in the 2016 Libertarian v. Conservative Intern Debate. Originally from North Carolina, he enjoys baseball, guitar, public oration, and fellowship with family and friends.
“The self-evident truths vindicated by the liberty movement are rooted in human nature and constitute the bedrock of American civil society. Liberty empowers the insatiable spirit of free men and women to pursue happiness for themselves and, of equal importance, their posterity. The first principles advanced by the liberty movement design the finest recipe for human innovation, civility, and prosperity that our world has ever seen; their recovery would restore America to its proper place at the vanguard of human flourishing.”
Vanessa recently graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University as a Journalism major and she looks forward to beginning her journey to becoming a communications director on campaigns. While at FGCU Vanessa founded and ran the NeW chapter at FGCU. Her involvement with the Network of Enlightened Women has encouraged her to speak out about being a conservative. She participated in NeW’s “This Is What A Conservative Looks Like” campaign and has been featured on Fox News Radio and Naples Newspress for her activism work on campus.
“The future of the liberty movement is in our hands. It is our responsibility to speak out on campuses and in our communities about the movement, and to educate those around us about it. With our voices being expressed and heard the movement will grow and be contagious and young Americans will soon realize the importance of it.”
Natalie Bao Tram Le
Natalie is a Development Associate and Data Manager for Independent Women’s Voice. She has written for the Harvard Crimson, Students for Liberty, Campus Reform, and many others. She graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy with a Concentration in Politics, Philosophy, & Law from College of Charleston and is now pursuing a Master’s in Government at Harvard.
“Free market principles bring out the utmost potential of every individual, and our society wouldn’t be where it is now without everyone’s valuable contribution. That’s why I find the liberty movement so inspiring, and I am so proud to be part of a movement that encourages value creation.”
Caitlyn grew up in New Jersey and studies multimedia journalism and political science at Virginia Tech. She advocates for individual rights and minimal government as a Virginia State Chair for Young Americans for Liberty, a Campus Coordinator for Students for Liberty, and will be serving as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Director for Students for Liberty in the fall. When she’s not hiking or spending time with friends, you can find her at a nearby farmer’s market.
“I think it’s essential for young people to respect individuality, and I love that the liberty movement has created an opportunity for people across the political spectrum to recognize the importance of individual rights. We are more than our political affiliation, and I’m proud to be part of a movement that recognizes that. In the future, I think the liberty movement will succeed by continuing to be welcoming to members of both main political parties.”
Alex “Allie” Harris
Since the first week of Allie’s freshmen year she has been extremely involved with College Republicans. By her sophomore year she became the communications director for the club. In this position, Allie ran the club’s social media accounts, including starting a new Instagram for the club and increasing the club’s online presence and following. In the spring of her junior year she was elected as vice president of the club. In this role, she headed a fundraising letter. This donation drive involved compiling a mailing list of 250 people and their addresses and mailing letters. Through this effort the club has received over $2,000 in donations. Other activities include serving as a Campus Ambassador for the Charles Koch Institute. In this role she speaks to students individually and in student groups about the Institute and recommend potential candidates to the Institute. Finally, Allie is an ambassador to the College of Arts and Sciences for Miami University. She helps with events for potential students and speaks about her experiences at the college.
“The liberty movement is important for the future of the country because without the spread of liberty, America won’t be able to progress and continue to be a world superpower. The ideals expressed through the liberty movement just make sense. Everyone is a supporter of liberty — just not everyone knows it yet.”
Jacob Richards recently graduated summa cum laude from Arizona Christian University with a degree in political science. During his undergraduate career, he worked for Americans for Prosperity Arizona; interned at the Independent Institute, the Goldwater Institute, and the Heritage Foundation; and completed both the Koch fellowship and the Koch internship with the Charles Koch Institute. Outside of work and the classroom, Jacob was as a Generation Liberty Fellow with the State Policy Network, an ISI Honors Scholar, and a recipient of the DeVos Freedom Center Leadership Award.
“I’m thrilled to be starting a career in the liberty movement, where I can share my passion for the ideas of freedom and limited government. I hope to convince other young Americans that societies perform best when government leaves room for individuals and private organizations to meet each other’s needs, without the heavy-handed influence of central planning.”
After graduating from Hillsdale College with a B.S. in biochemistry, John returned home to attend medical school at St. Louis University. He has also worked with the Benjamin Rush Institute and the Heritage Foundation to learn more about the economics, policies, and ethics underlying American healthcare. Most recently, John helped launch a new podcast called “Next Generation Medicine” where he interviewed thought-leaders and innovators in healthcare policy and business.
“My hope for the liberty movement is that new leaders will arise who possess an artful defense of the principles of liberty, emboldened by experience. Ideas have consequences, and so, we must find ways to demonstrate how free enterprise, personal responsibility, and limited government provide the true solutions to human suffering. My goal in healthcare, specifically, is to cultivate generations of physician-advocates and physician-entrepreneurs who can showcase how these principles lead to human flourishing.”
Lisa first began her journey in the leadership movement as the Vice President for Young Americans for Freedom at CSULA in 2015. She heard about Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) in 2016 and was inspired to become a founding member and Secretary of that chapter at her school. Lisa has since been hired as a YAL State Chair for the West Coast and has recruited over 30 strong and committed members in and around Los Angeles since December 2016. She was awarded West Coast State Chair of the Month in January 2017 and has recently taken the role of Founder and President of Students for Life of America at CSULA as well. Throughout her college career, Lisa has fulfilled numerous roles and participated in hosting speakers on campus, attending conferences and training seminars, organizing and conducting meetings, tabling, clipboarding and recruiting, and other activism events on campus.
“My hopes for the future are to make liberty win again in the United States. I believe in our young future leaders and am excited to be a part of this movement. Let it not be said that we did nothing.”
Louis Anthony Bertolotti
Louis is a recent cum laude graduate of the University of Notre Dame, originally from Tenafly, New Jersey. On campus, he was involved with student government, serving two year-long terms as the Executive Director of Campus Programming, and one term as the Director of Freshman Student Government. He was the founder of the school’s New Jersey Club, and an officer in both College Republicans and Model United Nations. Over the summers, he worked for the office of Governor Chris Christie, and eventually, his presidential campaign. Louis is humbled to be among the accomplished winners of this year’s award, and thanks them for all that they have done to advance the cause for liberty.
“We are today living in some of the most politically contentious periods in our nation’s history. It all too often seems like many of us have forgotten how to debate the issues at hand, and instead prefer to retreat into bubbles of like-minded thought, where our ideas are constantly re-enforced rather than challenged with vigor. By embracing liberty, we respect every individual’s right to his own opinion. In so doing, we are able to begin a dialogue, and attempt to hear and to understand one another. It is only through the embrace of such principles that we will be able to properly bridge our nation’s seemingly ever-growing divide.”
As a young, conservative libertarian, Andrew has had the interesting experience of being born and raised in the greater Los Angeles area. In the last year, he has become active in the LA area as a California State Chair with Young Americans for Liberty, in addition to interning remotely with the Charles Koch Institute, and he has had the opportunity to see many young activists come out of this unlikely area. While he studies biology at Citrus College, he ultimately intends to pursue a profession in dentistry whereby he will have the means necessary to support a lifelong effort of effecting pro-liberty policy in government.
“In the time that I have been involved in the liberty movement, I have been astonished at the exponential growth that has taken place among young students across the nation. It is my hope to see this growth both continue and increase to the point that young leaders are being developed and prepared for opportunities to fill positions in government and to influence its direction in such a way that individual liberty is more perfectly defended. Since the ideas of individual liberty discriminate against none, regardless of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, etc., it is paramount that these ideas be advanced so that we might see a thriving, prosperous, and truly progressive society for all.”