One of the greatest honors of working in the conservative movement is the opportunity, to cultivate, mentor, and encourage the next generation of conservative public policy intellectuals and conservative warriors. Conservatives who worry about the future of our movement, our culture, and our country, should take note. There are already a group of dedicated young professionals ready to step up to the plate.  We have seen and worked with them all summer.

Rachel Hall is an impressive Clemson University senior set to graduate this fall. She is a member of the Calhoun Honors College as well as a Lyceum Scholar at the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism. She rides horses competitively and travels internationally for mission trips to Central and South America.

Rachel has worked closely with us on the staff at Carolina Journal, writing point of view articles for Carolina Journal.

My favorite  is The parasite of a socialist culture and ,another The role of the government in perpetuating modern-day eugenics

Exactly what is next for Rachel Hall, she has not decided. She told CJ about how she sees her future after her Locke experience:

“I want to glorify God and stand firm for the freedom and self-governance of all men within our great federalist constitutional republic.”

We at Locke can already tell, she is well on her way.

Kelly Fitzgerald grew up in Apex and recently graduated from Davidson College in political science and economics. While at Davidson, Kelly was a leader on the Women’s Basketball team playing in 22 games as a senior. On senior day she scored 17 points.

“I chose to apply for the John Locke Foundation because I wanted to explore my interest further in public policy while learning and promoting conservative government values,” she said. “The program has exposed me to the projects and processes of developing responsible, effective policy but most importantly it has connected me with bright, like-minded professionals in the policy and legal fields. During my internship, I was able to attend sessions and hearings at the North Carolina legislature, write and assist with articles, as well as gather vital information for informing those pieces.

This fall I will be attending law school at UNC-Chapel Hill and thanks to the experience at the John Locke Foundation I intend to study the areas of constitutional law and/or public interest. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have worked for such a supportive group and I would encourage anyone interested in John Locke’s mission to apply.”

Kelly, UNC-CH and the state are in desperate need of some talented, constitutionally grounded conservative lawyers. Good luck, we old-timers are counting on you. 

Ewan Hayes is a sophomore at Hillsdale College. His time at JLF has wet this young man’s whistle for working in conservative public policy.

“I’ve learned more about the worlds of policy and government,” he said. “After I get a bachelor’s degree in politics, I would like to work either as a lobbyist or with government affairs at a local think tank.”

Hayes wrote an excellent piece for CJ, on the farce of left-leaning political groups issuing report cards on energy.

As a senior at Loyola University in Maryland, Carter Reilly studies international business and writing. Riley worked with Dr. Andy Jackson, Director of the Civitas Center for Public Integrity, here at the John Locke Foundation getting ready for the release of the 2022 Civitas Partisan Index (CPI), a measure of the partisan leanings of North Carolina State Legislative districts. While the CPI is not a tool for predicting elections, readers can use it to learn more about state legislative races. JLF will present a new CPI index after new legislative districts are adopted. Riley’s research is helping set the stage for this important work.

He also wrote two important pieces for Carolina Journal about why the federal government must get serious about cybersecurity and cybercriminals and why agriculture is still the backbone of North Carolina.

“I’ve learned that there is a lot more overlap between business and government than I had originally thought and that despite not having a political science degree, there are plenty of ways to get involved in the workings of government and the democratic process,” he said.

After graduation, Reilly is eyeing a career in federal intelligence or working with business operations trying to land a foot in growing international markets.

JLF: Cultivating New Talent

John Locke Foundation CEO, Amy Cooke says mentoring young conservative professionals is a key mission of the Locke Foundation, but one that makes the entire organization better.

“Mentoring the next generation of conservatives is rewarding in so many ways, “said Cooke. “Conservatives must be able to fight the next battle, the next war for heart and minds. Our summer surge of youth and enthusiasm helps those of us that have been around a while, see things from a new perspective. It keeps us young at heart. Finally, it reminds all of us at Locke, why we do this, day in and day out. To help young and talented conservative and the opportunity to prosper in the greatest nation on earth.”

“It’s been gratifying to see our Interns grow,” said Bob Luebke, JLF Senior Fellow for Center for Effective Education. “They got their legs quickly and have already made notable contributions. I’m encouraged by their understanding of the conservative movement and the opportunities available to them when they graduate.”

Luebke and Terry Stoops, Director of the Center for Effective Education, lead the intern program.

My own path

Helping to cultivate the next generation of voices has been the most rewarding part of my career over the past two decades.  In managing three different conservative non-profits and working at two others, I have personally worked with an impressive list of interns, apprentices, and young hires that are now the backbone of the conservative movement.

Several hires now hold impressive leadership positions here at the John Locke Foundation. One handled advance duty for Vice-President Pence, and another worked directly for President Trump at the White House, and one is a current state legislator. Several now run other conservative non-profits.

The John Locke Foundation inspired me to do all I could to develop young talent after others made that commitment to me early in my career. I was selected to join EA Morris Fellowship for Emerging Leaders, in 2007. Morris Fellows explore how individuals in a free society form groups, teams, and enterprises to achieve common ends, and how thoughtful, committed, ethical leaders can help their organizations thrive and prosper.

It was among the best experiences of my lifetime. The E.A. Morris Fellowship for Emerging Leaders alumni include a who’s who of conservative North Carolina, from current/former state lawmakers, judges, and leaders in North Carolina business, politics, non-profits, and culture.

After a pause for Covid, E.A. Morris has a full class of leaders this year.  We will be taking applications for the fellowship from North Carolina citizens between the ages of 25-40, who are willing to complete a special project requiring teamwork, leadership, and innovative thinking on a local level late this year.

The John Locke Foundation also uses paid interns throughout the year. We welcome undergraduates, recent graduates, or graduate students who have a strong commitment to individual liberty, limited government, private property, and free markets.

If you are a conservative, and down about the current state of politics, economics, and culture take solace. We at the Locke Foundation are not. We believe in America and her people but most importantly, help is on the way.