by Andrea Vacchiano

After I attended my first CBLPI conference in April 2015, I was hooked. I was a senior in high school and was always interested in becoming a conservative advocate despite the inability to become one just yet. One day, while having lunch with my mentor from my county’s Republican committee, she mentioned that I should apply for a travel scholarship to attend one of CBLPI’s student conferences. I looked into it, saw what an amazing opportunity it was, and was very lucky to be accepted. I left Newark, New Jersey for Minneapolis unsure what to expect but extremely excited for the opportunity.

My experience was incredible. I had never been in a room with only conservative women – where I lived in New Jersey, I’d be lucky to find out that one of my classmates was a secret conservative. Being at that conference was life-changing for me, and it was there that I realized my passion was to advocate for conservative principles.

I had the chance to listen to amazing speakers, become friends with girls from across the country, and learn more about conservativism. Most importantly, I learned how to combat the liberalism I’d face at Rutgers.

If I had never been to that CBLPI conference in 2015, I would be clueless on my college campus. Instead of hosting speakers and leading my conservative club, I would be another student who was conservative but kept my views to myself and did nothing to change the atmosphere of the university. I am very grateful to CBLPI for the opportunities they have provided me!

Andrea, a junior at Rutgers University double majoring in History and Political Science, was a 2017 Summer Fellow at CBLPI.