Kicking Off the Year of
the Pro-Life Teen ...
By Joleigh Little
I just got home from
spending some time with my absolute favorite people on the planet.
It’s probably not going to shock you that they are teenagers. Nor
will it come as a surprise that they are of the pro-life variety.
They are my camp team at Wisconsin Right to Life.
These kids are a breed
apart. They spend their time on behalf of others. They are
knowledgeable on the facts of abortion and euthanasia. They are
passionate about the cause of life and about protecting those who
have no voice. They will, to a person, end up in careers that allow
them to serve the pro-life cause in one capacity or another. Many
will end up working full time in the movement itself.
I love them like they are my
own. I could brag about them for hours. I could tell you why each is
unique and amazing. I would probably weep as I shared just how much
I appreciate all they have done and continue to do for unborn
children and the medically vulnerable.
But here’s the thing. As
crazy as I am about “my” kids, I know that in every state in our
nation, equally fabulous young people exist—kids ready to learn,
eager to get involved, willing to give of themselves. All we need is
to identify and train these leaders of tomorrow.
I know we have them in
Louisiana. Our affiliate there, Louisiana Right to Life Federation,
is bringing literal busloads—hundreds of teenagers—to Washington,
D.C., this month for the March for Life. It hosts hugely successful
leadership camps in the spring and summer that bring teens from all
over Louisiana to learn how to be advocates for the unborn.
Under the leadership of Ben
Clapper, they are working closely with NRLC to develop a plan to
bring youth camps to all 50 states over the next several years. To
say that we are excited about this program would be a vast
understatement ... but more about that in future issues!
Although Rhode Island is a
tiny state in terms of land mass, it has a vibrant and growing youth
program headed up by Rhode Island Right to Life’s Education Director
Becky Miller. We expect to see a few of their leaders at our NTL
Summit the weekend of January 21–23 and look forward to working with
Becky as we lay out our plans for our national camp program. She is
a shining example of how one person with a passion for life and for
youth can make a difference.
I just got a Facebook
message (you have to LOVE social networking and all it can do to
promote the cause of life) from Paul Maloney, the executive director
at North Dakota Right to Life. He’s eager to grow their youth
program and they recently elected an incredible young man to serve
as president of North Dakota Teens for Life. We look very much
forward to working with them in the coming year.
leadership camp programs already exist in a number of states. In
addition to Louisiana and Wisconsin, camps are training youth in
Oregon, Texas, and New York.
Rhode Island has a summer
academy which meets every Wednesday night for eight weeks during the
summer. Vermont Right to Life hosts a teen summit every October.
Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life holds a huge rally at the
state capitol every year—we can only assume that such a rally will
be even more exciting in 2011 with Minnesota’s new state Senate
president in attendance. Sen. Michelle Fischbach is an example of
what can happen when you train young people from an early age to
speak out in defense of life.
And that, really, is the
thought on which I should end. Every ounce of time, money, and
effort we put into training and empowering the pro-life youth of
today will have ripples and waves well into the future. I do not
doubt for one moment that among today’s youth—those who attend our
camps, conventions, summits, and legislative conferences—are
tomorrow’s legislators, doctors, attorneys, journalists, and
This is the year. Now is the
time. This is our opportunity to train these kids to speak out on
behalf of a cause that has no equal. To paraphrase Winston
Churchill, if we give them the tools they WILL finish the job. So
let’s do it!
Let’s train them. Let’s
equip them. Let’s encourage them, mentor them, laugh with them, love
them, and lead them. If we do, we literally cannot lose. Will you
For more information on how
you can help with our National Right to Life Year of the Pro-Life
Teen, e-mail us at email@example.com. As always, any gifts to
National Right to Life are welcomed and will be used wisely to
assist in training youth and promoting NRLC’s many other worthy