“Please just drop dead and die.” This was the response I received recently from a student on his way to class, who happened to casually glance at our ‘Freedom lovin’, Country music blarin’, Red, White, and Blue bleedin’ table as he hurried past. South Florida, and Miami in particular is a difficult region to reach with the conservative message – as evidence by this exchange, among the immeasurable others I encounter day-to-day.

Although we strive to bring a message of encouragement and hope, the rebranding and initiation of a movement, I am often met with more opposition than excitement, more rejections than passionate exchanges. Values of liberty and freedom, strangely enough, are not well received in a place that resembles nothing close to the sweet tea drinking, truck driving, patriot studded one that I am accustomed to encountering back home.

laurenkonkol3All hope is not lost though. Yes, it’s been a tough journey to say the least but that only necessitates a greater energy and a more impassioned heart. We have committed activists spanning South Florida who are working tirelessly – constructing their networks, inspiring their peers, anticipating a millennial takeover like our country has never before seen or imagined.

We are being intentional with the relationships we build – we have formed alliances with every established College Republican chapter in the region.

We are strategically identifying students and heavily investing in them – to date, I have personally had over 600 conversations with students across South Florida about how we are giving students a voice.

We are raising, training, and deploying a grassroots movement in South Florida that will be unstoppable as we enter this next election cycle – we are registering students to vote all across the state by reaching them with the issues that they care about most.laurenkonkol4

It takes time. It takes relentless determination. It takes a hunger and thirst for the spread of values our country was founded on – values that we will continue to fight for every waking hour of every day.

We are Americans.

And your approval isn’t required.

#teamFlorida