“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same…” – Ronald Reagan
Hello Lt. Gov Keirstin! Thank you for joining us on the blog today! We’re excited to learn about Patriot Academy and what it’s about. Can you tell us briefly what is the mission/goal of the Academy and how it began?
“Hey there! Thanks for having me! Patriot Academy is an intense biblical leadership boot camp for young men and women who want to learn to be effective leaders in their communities, and experience and be a part of the legislative process. Students will receive training in:
- Public Speaking
- Debating and Critical Thought
- Leadership Skills
- Life Purpose Plans
- Free Enterprise
- Parliamentary Procedure
- American Heritage
But all from a Biblical Worldview!
Where is the Academy located? Where do you meet and how long do students attend?
“There are a total of 7 Patriot Academies across the country! Those states include TX, ID, AZ, FL, VA, DE, and FL – So if it doesn’t work for you to come to the Idaho academy this year, try for one of the other Regionals, or the National Academy which takes place in Texas. A Regional, like the NW Patriot Academy, is 3 days long, while the National Academy in Texas is a whole week. Students stay at a nearby hotel, where they have breakfast and devotionals together, and then they take a bus or walk over to the State capital together. We use the actual committee rooms, house floor, and the seats and microphones of the capital as well, which is pretty awesome!”
How did you get interested and involved in the Academy?
“My family encouraged me to go, and before I was even old enough to attend, I literally counted down the days till I could! I was so excited to meet everyone and learn at Patriot Academy! Two years later, I am now going into my 3rd year as a student, and I’m loving every second of it. This year, I have had the opportunity to serve as part of the student body cabinet, and mentor coordinator for the 2018 NW Patriot Academy in Idaho. It’s radically changed my life, learning how to be a servant leader and help and encourage other students.”
Describe to us one exciting thing about the Academy. Do you have a favorite thing about it?
“One amazing thing is that you get to bring your own bill to Patriot Academy! You can write about any issue in the country, any existing law, repeal a bad law, or create your own! Even if you’re not interested in politics, this is a great way to help you define what you believe, and WHY you believe it. For example, I brought a pro-life bill my first year. Getting to defend these precious unborn lives, and having people play devil’s advocate and challenging me, made me realize how much more WHY I believed what I believed and how to explain and protectmy values.
One hundred percent my favorite part is the incredible people you meet at Patriot Academy! There are so many like-minded and Christlike individuals, all passionate about what they believe and doing something incredible with their lives. They are so encouraging and a powerful group to be around! Often in the early mornings we would gather for prayer before the day started, and in the free time in the evenings we had a great time visiting and doing worship together! No where else is there another group like the students at Patriot Academy. I’m so blessed to have them in my life. The life long friendships made here are PRICELESS. “
Can you share a lesson you learned while being part of the Academy?
“Definitely it would be that God uses anyone and everyone for His purpose, no matter your age or background. Not just in political office, but in every area of life He calls you to.”
Can you tell us a funny memory you have while being part of the Academy?
“Ohhh, yes! The Golf Ball is one of the best things about Patriot Academy, which you get on your first day, and is meant to symbolize your character-
For example, just as you can lose your character when things get busy or stressful, your golf ball can be dropped on the bus, forgotten in a bathroom or hotel room, found rolling down the House Floor, or stolen by one of Patriot Academy notorious golf ball thieves. Your character is always to remain on display, not found in a pocket or purse, but always in your hand. If you should lose yours, there are two ways to get it back –
1. By quoting a memorized character quote given to you before the academy
2. If you’ve lost it more than once, or failed to memorize a quote, never failed to memorize a quote, never fear! You can sing the `Where is my golf ball?` song to get it back! (You’ve heard of the Veggietales Song `Where is my hairbrush?` I think you get the idea!) It’s one of everyone’s favorite part of PA! A hilarious, but also a great reminder how important developing godly character is!”
Who can be part of the Academy and is there an age limit?
“Patriot Academy is for students ages 16 to 25, who want to learn to be biblical leaders and to live passionately and with a purpose in all they do.”
Do graduates receive anything special at the end?
“Yes! At the Patriot Academy graduation ceremony, students get a chance to honor and recognize our veterans and the sacrifices they have made for our country. One by one, each student is called forward, receiving a torch of freedom medallion, which is placed around their necks by each veteran. This symbolizes the torch of freedom being passed onto the next generation.”
Do young people get any college or volunteer or community credits for participating in the Academy?
“Not exactly, but rather this is an investment in your personal growth and education, as well as a way to equip yourself with many lifelong skills. You will learn how to communicate effectively, how to use your gifts and talents to serve Christ and others, have a firm foundation in how our nation was founded, and personal knowledge of how the political process works by getting to experience it for yourself!
What if I really, really want to come, but I can’t afford to attend?
“That’s where I come in! If you have any questions, or would like to attend, I’m here to help you! As Lt. Governor, I will connect you with some tools to help you raise tuition and/or travel costs, and if you need a little extra help, we can look into getting you a scholarship for what you can’t cover. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll connect you with what you need! If you want to go, we will help you do it! No one gets turned away for lack of funds.”
Can you describe to us some of the places or positions that alumni from the academy have reached?
“There have been over 1,300+ young leaders trained so far! With 60+ alumni serving in our nation’s legislatures, working to protect our God given liberties in our country! And many others serving as leaders in their communities as campaign managers, business owners, mothers and fathers, in the workforce, and in literally every walk of life! Principled leaders set to preserve our freedom as Americans, stand for values that matter, and most importantly, keep our nation as one nation under God.”
Would you like to add one last thought before we finish today?
“I can only say, this incredible opportunity has radically changed my life! Patriot Academy prepared me for stepping into the world equipped with communication skills, a firm foundation of America’s Christian Heritage, a biblical perspective of government, and a community of encouraging world changing people on fire for Christ, that will stay with me the rest of my life!
If you want to go, please act quickly because it’s coming up soon, and space is filling up quickly! To apply, go to www.patriotacademy.com/ or contact me at email@example.com with any questions, information, or to inquire about tuition. Hope to see you there! It’s going to be an incredible summer!
Thank you for your time Keirstin and for all the great information! We enjoyed having you here!
“Patriot Academy was founded in 2003, by former Texas Representative Rick Green and partner David Barton, the founder of Wall Builders. Rick saw the lack of understanding that America was founded as under one nation under God and biblical values in leaders in our country, who failed to stand for values that matter. By using the training students receive during the academy, He found a way to instill the principles of liberty and biblical values in the next generation. Patriot Academy since has trained thousands of godly young leaders to help them make a difference in the world around them, and help protect our nation’s freedom for generations to come!