Turning Point USA is excited to welcome four new interns to the TPUSA team this summer! Read below to get to know our newest team members.
Texas Christian University
My name is Dillan Keck, and I am a sophomore economics major from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth Texas. I got involved in politics through Young Americans for Freedom (YAFF) and College of Republicans chapters on my campus. I work on the YAFF exec team as Treasurer and help plan activism events and host speakers on a regular basis. I became more passionate about conservative and free market ideas through attending various conferences, including CPAC and talking to students about controversial ideas on my campus. I am incredibly excited to begin working with Turning Point to gain professional experience from other staff and help Turning Point reach out to many young conservative students. I am especially excited to hosting the Woman’s Leadership Summit and High School Leadership Conference that Turning Point will be holding this summer. I am looking forward to begin the next chapter of my career in the conservative movement!
My name is Abigail Slagle and I’m a sophomore Political Science major with a minor in Business Legal Studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
As with most people, I grew up knowing bits and pieces about my parents political ideology and the general attitude concerning politics in the area I grew up in, which is The Woodlands, Texas.
However, My high school only offered one course that taught anything related to government or politics, and it was required by the state government. With no political clubs at easy access, I went to college not having much knowledge about voting, party ideology, or how our government worked.
When I arrived at Miami University, I decided to join the College Republicans chapter on a whim. Finding that I enjoyed attending meetings and events with them, that my feelings matched theirs, and I quickly made friends that encouraged me to become more and more involved. I attended CPAC in DC this past February and I was simply amazed with how the press, speakers, and attendees were so focused on making an impact and outreach.
I’m very excited to be interning at Turning Point USA this summer because of my new passion to experience as much of politics as possible. I’m also looking forward to helping with the High School Leadership Summit because this event will help spread political education and encourage activism to high school students, which is an opportunity I wish I could have had when I was in high school.
I feel that a proper introduction is in order, so here we go. Hi There, I am Heather Mende, a 20-something Chicago-suburban native, currently on a comfortable office chair in the Turning Point USA headquarters. It’s the first of June, a day many people may consider a marking to the first day of summer, but I’m finding it is the “turning point” (see what I did there?) to my professional future. So, where did it all start?
I’m very grateful to have met my dear friend Alex Griffin through Tri Delta and College Republicans. Her passion for conservative politics and sisterhood facilitated my interest in the two and led me to a link provided by Turning Point USA– the application to the Young Women’s Leadership Summit. And so it began, my interest in the organization. An acceptance email, pending curiosity and luck of location led me to the internship opportunity that sat me in this comfortable chair on this abnormally chilly, yet sunny Monday.
When asked what I’m most looking forward to, I keep revisiting the Young Women’s Leadership Summit in June. Originally, I got involved with the organization through this summit and after learning more and meeting some of the speakers, I can’t help but be excited. In addition, the other events interns are attending will be exceptional opportunities to learn and grow professionally. The events, not only broaden the audience for conservative politics, but allow the already active audience an opportunity to learn more than imaginable. So what am I looking forward to the most? Learning and growing through others thoughts, ideas and views. I cannot wait to meet other activists and spend the summer socializing, planning, and making a difference.
The King’s College
I remember the day I first heard about Turning Point USA. It was in March of my junior year at The King’s College, and I was vice president of my College Republicans chapter at the time. I received an email invitation from my college president for student leaders to come to a speaking engagement and special lunch with someone named…Charlie Kirk? I had never heard of the guy or his organization before. But, I remember being intrigued by the title of his speech– “Escaping the Echo Chamber: Why young conservatives must engage their fellow peers, colleagues, and family members before it’s too late.”
The title intrigued me, because I chose to go to The King’s College in New York City in order to pursue becoming a political and business leader. I joined the College Republicans at my school so that I could positively influence my peers and help build the conservative movement in one of the most liberal cities in the USA. I figured Charlie Kirk might have some important ideas and advice that could help me engage students in New York City.
So, I decided to attend.
I knew Charlie Kirk was an influential conservative peer. However, I did not expect for him to be so well informed, well spoken, down to earth,…and younger than I was! During the event, he talked about his strategies for breaking down complex political issues, like the national debt, into easy to understand analogies. He took issues that I cared about and made them relevant and relatable for Millennials. Turning Point USA made the conservative message, which many college students consider flat boring, into something that was, well,…cool!
The organization strove to reach those who hold “conservative” values but never knew there was a political movement that encompassed those values. It was also an organization that converted timid or inactive conservatives into loud and proud activists. Through Turning Point USA, being a conservative on a college campus held a rebellious and nerdy charm. At the end of Charlie’s speech, I remember thinking, “This is it! This is the start of change I’ve been wanting to see in the conservative movement.”
I have always been adamant that politics is about people–not just power. Though we need to elect good leaders who share our values to office, it is just as important for conservatives to invest in relationships with everyday people. If individual liberty is as important to us as we say, then we need to reach out to individual Americans to encourage and empower them. We especially need to reach Millennials who will soon be leading the country.
Turning Point USA understands all of these needs. Thus, I am proud to be a part of the Turning Point USA team as an intern this summer. I know that I am a part of an organization that matters. I’m looking forward to getting hands on experience helping run a non-for-profit. Working with Turning Point USA allows me to develop leadership skills that will help me to reach my goal of running a major business or non-for-profit one day. I’m glad to advance Turning Point USA’s mission to excite my generation about fiscal responsibility, limited government, and individual empowerment.