Dear conservative movement,

It would be wrong to celebrate college graduation without expressing gratitude for how much you have given me. The conservative experience shaped me in more ways than I can count!

This is a sentimental time. As I choose which presidential slogan to put on my graduation cap and just which conservative woman influenced me the most to get here (I’m looking at you, Rachel Campos-Duffy), I pause for a second and simply want to say thank you. I am so grateful for everyone who works so hard to fight for our beliefs and does not cease doing so even when it gets tough.

Firstly, I’d like to thank you for the friendships I have made. I met some of my best friends through this movement and undoubtedly learned the things I did not at my university. As much as I loved my college experience and the friends I made within its gates, my conservative movement friends supersede all boundaries and stretch as far as all corners of America. The diversity of interests represented amongst these people is incredible and we all remain connected to one another because we stand for important values. I’ve learned how these friendships are often long-distance, but how this makes them so much more fruitful. From meeting Rand Paul multiple times to speaking on student panels at women’s conferences to creating a famous social media presence, I think it goes without saying that when our conservative friends finally get to spend time together, it’s as if we were never apart. Not only are all of them unfathomably accomplished, but our passion will lead us to big things in the coming years, if not already.

Secondly, the conservative movement took a chance on me and showed me what I am capable of. It showed me what I wanted to dedicate my undergraduate years to- and beyond. The first time I got involved was CPAC 2017. I somehow managed to get a fellowship offer with CBLPI; I had no experience, just a lot of excitement for what the movement stands for. It was their belief in me that made me actualize my confidence, determination, and ability to succeed. The conservative movement has a way of opening up doors for those who truly love what they do. There is always a spot for someone who wants to make a difference and it is time to start doing just that! I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know the path that got me there and how I can always find a home here when I’m a lawyer.

Last but surely not least, this is not to mention the incredible amount of networking and professionalism that’s resulted from involvement. While my friends on campus were concerned about what to wear to the next formal, I was anxiously planning my outfit to the next internship interview and flipping through business cards for my favorite positions. My biggest supporters are those at conservative organizations, always challenging me to be a better version of myself, a better conservative all around, and a better worker. Sometimes I give a phone call to Washington and receive the best advice from anyone I could ask.

I am extremely confident that once I return to Washington, I will hit the ground running and begin to make a difference. I challenged the status quo at my university with help of the conservative movement, brought about needed change, learned I wasn’t alone, and I am ready to help others do the same. The conservative movement set me up for success and it is time to give back as a graduate!

With Love and Thanks,

Kelly H