Equipping Young Leaders for the Future: The National Right to Life Academy
By Emily Derois, graduate, 2015 National Right to Life Academy
This past summer I left my little town in Pennsylvania and journeyed to Washington D.C. with one intent: to learn how to become a voice for the voiceless. Just what this entailed, I had no idea. The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and the Knights of Columbus Council 15351 generously offered me partial scholarships to attend the National Right to Life Academy. So with only a basic understanding of what the next five weeks would hold, I applied. Now that the experience is over and my work completed, I would heartily recommend the academy to any students interested in the pro-life movement.
We live in a society so focused on being politically correct, most of us hesitate to take a stance against the injustice of abortion and euthanasia. Yet it is imperative that we defend the unborn and helpless. If you’re anything like me, these grand words are too abstract and distant. After all, what can the average student actually do to make any real impact? The academy empowers the youth, as they teach practical and real strategies that further the movement.
Life at the Academy
The academy is held in Washington D.C., at the National Right to Life headquarters. The course involves five fast-paced weeks of reading, practicum, and hearing from leaders in the pro-life movement. The topics covered deal not only with abortion, but also physician-assisted suicide, stem-cell research, and the history of the pro-life movement. I found the pro-life movement’s history surprisingly helpful, as you recognize the mistakes made and learn from the implications of these failed strategies. There is also a weekend spent learning Robert’s Rules of Order, providing students with the skills to conduct structured meetings. After this brief course in parliamentary procedure, you will become a registered member of The National Association of Parliamentarians. The five weeks is well utilized, as each subject is studied in depth. Each of the students left confident in our thorough understanding of these core life issues.
Learning from the Leaders
Leaders in the movement, such as Dr. David Prentice and Burke Balch, give the lectures. And the practicums prepare each student to successfully defend life against every attack used by abortion advocates. Several times a day, the student will give an impromptu speech or answer pro-abortion questions while being filmed. The videos are replayed so the student can hear and see his or her arguments and receive advice. Although the initial thought of practicum was intimidating, this is an extremely helpful and necessary preparation. It is a very friendly environment, and the criticism is constructive. Everyone is trying to achieve the same goal, and the focus is on giving you the skills needed to effectively defend the helpless.
An Invitation to Students
Some state affiliates of NRLC offer scholarships to help students defray the tuition for the Academy as the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation did for me. Students can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to find out which states offer scholarships. National Right to Life equips students with the knowledge and skills to become leaders in the pro-life movement. You can apply and find further information about this course by visiting National Right to Life’s website at: www.nrlc.org/academy.
Editor’s note. This first appeared at squarespace.com.