A native of Southern California, Natalie Hernandez “took a leap of faith” and was accepted to participate in our 2016 Leadership Summit in Washington D.C. She enjoyed
every minute of her chance to explore the city, discuss deep American ideas, and learn more about how to defend her views. Her enthusiasm and humility are truly the mark of a leader. Since last April, Natalie has returned to our nation’s capital and is a freshman studying Political Science at George Washington University. There, she continues to prepare to make a real difference in the world. You may even see her run for office one day!
In case you are wondering if you should apply for our Windrose Leadership Summit, Natalie votes yes! Read on to learn how our first annual summit impacted this talented young woman to find her voice and stand firm for truth.
What were two of your favorite parts of the 2016 Summit?
My favorite part of the trip was getting a personal tour of the Capitol building from Congressman Bob McEwen, a former member of the House from Ohio. I also enjoyed our breakout sessions, when we gathered in circles and discussed some very complex topics. It was an incredible opportunity to hear what other people had to say.
Would you encourage others to apply to this trip?
Yes! DO IT! I was hesitant at first, but I took a leap of faith. I knew it would be a great opportunity to explore the nation’s capital. Within 4 days, I learned a lot about other people and their views, but I also learned how to strongly voice my own opinion. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, not to mention being led by such a strongly rooted couple like Spencer and Bailey.
It was definitely worth the work you do during the application process. I took a chance and got a first hand look at the history DC has to offer, and now it’s my home. At the George Washington University, I am majoring in political science in hopes of one day running for office.
Being apart of the Windrose Project isn’t just a weeklong thing. You meet people and make friendships that will last a lifetime. For me, this trip meant solidifying my career, but for you it might be something way different. Either way, I would encourage anyone who is even remotely considering to apply, do it, I guarantee you won’t regret it.
What did you learn during the trip?
One of the important things I learned from this experience is how to engage in civil discourse. I used to hate talking to other people who didn’t agree with me because I thought they were absolutely wrong. I learned that you can have mature and sensible conversations with people you don’t agree with. It is important to be able to do this and do this well. I learned it’s good to have different opinions and engage in that, you never know what can happen.
Did your perspective change in any way after the summit?
It solidified many of the things I believed in, but it also challenged me. I really had to dig deep and think, “Why do I believe this and how can I defend it?” It helped me to see what others are thinking and it pushed me to engage in conversations I normally wouldn’t dare engage in. Most importantly, it showed me it’s important to stand for what you believe in. Whatever it is you believe in, do it and stand firm.
So if you’re a courageous young American, like Natalie, interested in a challenging, life-changing experience, apply for our 2017 Leadership Summit in Washington D.C. You can learn more here. There are still 4 days left before the deadline to apply on Monday, February 20th! Don’t miss out!