Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) is the chapter affiliate of Young America’s Foundation. YAF chapters advocate for the principles outlined in the Sharon Statement, including limited government, individual freedom, free enterprise, traditional values, and a strong national defense.
There are 5 main components of the NJC application.
- Application (which can be completed online here)
- Cover Letter
- 2-3 Writing Samples (of 5 pages or less; news clips preferred)
- 3 References (letters of recommendation may be submitted only in addition to reference contact information)
- An official college transcript is required upon acceptance into the program. (An intern will not be accepted nor allowed to participate without an official transcript.)
IMPORTANT: Applications will NOT be reviewed until all supplemental materials are received, and candidates will not be accepted into the program with any outstanding materials.
These materials can be e-mailed, faxed, or mailed to the NJC office.
- Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fax: Send ATTN: The National Journalism Center to (703) 318-9122 OR
- Mail to:
National Journalism Center
RE: Internship Application11480 Commerce Park DrSuite 600Reston, VA 20191
References can be professional, academic or personal. Please include the name of each reference, their affiliation, their relationship to you, their email address and phone number. A total of three references are required.
You do not need to submit letters of recommendation; full contact information for your references is preferred. You may submit reference letters if you choose, but only in addition to submitting detailed contact information for your references. However, they often slow down the application process and they must be submitted on official letterhead.
Ultimately, we would like interns to have published news clips that best exemplify your talents as a news reporter. However, we recognize that some candidates might not have news clips; if you do not have published material, please send us an academic sample that clearly demonstrates your writing ability (no longer than 5 pages). If you are sending academic samples, we recommend sending them from courses that would related to an internship in Washington, including papers on public policy, economics, business, communications, journalism, etc.
The National Journalism Center seeks candidates that are dedicated to becoming better journalists, becoming a more responsible reporter, and combating media bias. The most competitive applicants will have demonstrated some previous interest in journalism, whether that’s working for their college newspaper, starting their own news blog, or participating in another media internship.
Yes, we do accept other social science majors. Many of our past interns have been pursuing degrees in history, political science, economics and philosophy.
NJC typically accepts college juniors, seniors, and recent graduates. We do, however, accept some exceptional college freshmen and sophomore applicants. At this time, we do not accept high school students.
We have taken some interns from foreign countries in the past, however, securing an intern visa can be a long and difficult process. For this reason, we limit our acceptance of foreign applicants.
When you have submitted all components of your application, your materials will be reviewed by the NJC staff. If we feel that you could potentially be a valuable asset to the NJC program, we will contact you for a series of interviews with staff members, including the academic director. Please note that not all applicants will be granted interviews.
Due to the high volume of applications we receive, applicants will not be notified if they are not selected for an interview nor selected to participate in the program. It is the responsibility of the applicant to stay in touch with NJC to determine the status of their application.
Yes, applicants who are not accepted for a particular term are welcome to apply again. The summer session is particularly competitive; if you are not accepted for the summer term, please feel free to apply again for the fall or spring sessions.
+Is there any cost to participate in the program? Do interns receive a scholarship for their participation in the program?
There is no cost for interns to participate in the National Journalism Center program. In fact, interns receive a $1,000 monthly scholarship which is pro-rated for partial months. Interns frequently use part or all of their stipend to pay for housing, food, and transportation while in Washington.
NJC itself does not provide housing, however, we do provide you with resources to help you find housing in the area. Housing guides are emailed to interns upon their acceptance into the program and NJC staff are available to answer any questions or concerns you may have about moving to Washington, D.C. It’s worth noting that most of our interns come from outside the greater D.C. area and typically have few problems finding housing–provided they start early. It is a very transient city; interns are coming and going at all times of the year, so there are no shortage of options for temporary housing.
Participants are notified about their media placements during orientation. However, some media organizations will contact NJC interns for interviews or to set up logistical information; please note that these interviews are in conjunction with the NJC program and are NOT separate internships. Everyone will be notified officially about their placement and provided with contact information for their supervisor during orientation.
We take your career interests, previous experience, and your suggestions into consideration and match you with a partnering media outlet at which we believe you will best thrive. You will be notified about your media placement on your first day of orientation and not before.
Please see the Washington Journalism Internships page to see a short list of some of our past internship placements.
+I will be taking classes at school while participating in this internship. Can I do the NJC internship part-time?
Most NJC interns participate in the full-time internship; however, some interns taking classes may participate in the program part-time if arrangements are made with NJC staff in advance.
Interns typically spend between 30 and 35 hours per week at their media placements, and also participate in the NJC weekly training seminar (mandatory). Because news is not 9-5, your internship placement may require you to work some nights or weekends.
The seminars include journalism skills training, writing and grammar exercises, reading assignments, and current event discussions led by NJC’s academic director. Each seminar typically features a guest speaker, either a prominent journalist or public policy expert, who will share share their insights into the industry, career advice, or resources for journalists to take advantage of. These sessions are designed to give interns a better understanding of media, society and public policy, and the intersection between the three here in Washington, D.C.
The NJC not only offers just the opportunities of interning at top notch news organizations, but we offer seminars that will improve your writing and make your skills marketable to prospective employers. The other benefits include hearing from exciting, well-known speakers and connecting with other NJC interns and alumni from across the country and around the world.
YAF was founded on September 11, 1960 by a group of young conservatives who met at the home of William F. Buckley Jr. and wrote its founding document, the Sharon Statement. In 2011, YAF and Young America’s Foundation unified, with the former becoming a project of the latter. YAF alumni have founded or played a critical role in numerous conservative organizations, including the American Conservative Union, the National Rifle Association, the Fund for American Studies, and the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute.
YAF is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to promoting conservative ideas such as free enterprise, limited government, and a strong national defense. It is not wedded to any particularly political party or candidates for public office. This means that YAF can boldly advocate for conservative principles without concerning itself with pleasing the interests of those in Washington.
You can use YAF as a platform to educate and call your peers to action to confront issues with big government such as the country’s ballooning cost of education, destructive taxes, and the national debt. These are policies that are harming your generation! We will help you every step of the way by providing logistical and financial support. In other words, we make your activism easier!
Additionally, starting a YAF chapter is an excellent way for you to gain leadership experience. You will develop skills in marketing, fundraising, event planning, and other areas of activism that will serve you well in your professional life.
YAF members and chapters can expect the following benefits:
- Premier member and chapter services
- Exclusive YAF leadership training
- Innovative activism materials for your chapters
- Financial and logistical assistance to host conservative speakers – including Ann Coulter, Allen West, Greg Gutfeld, Michelle Malkin, Walter Williams, Dinesh D’Souza, and others – on your campus
- Discounts to attend YAF’s breakthrough conferences and seminars
- Opportunities to visit the Ronald Reagan Ranch
- Paid internship opportunities at Young America’s Foundation’s National Headquarters, the National Journalism Center, and the Reagan Ranch Center
Yes! Some of our most successful chapters are located in high schools. We will work with your chapter to plan activism ideas that cater to your school and area of the country.
Young America’s Foundation also organizes conferences exclusively for high school students each year. We strongly encourage you and your peers to attend so that you can meet other YAF student leaders from across the country.
We recommend tabling in or around your student union. We also encourage you to use our list of campus initiatives to get attract, recruit, and retain members. Additionally, hosting a conservative speaker and having attendees sign up for your chapter is a great way to recruit. Other ways include creating a Facebook page and Twitter account for your chapter, and promoting your chapter on social networks. We will provide you with the YAF chapter manual and free copies of our Conservative Guide to Campus Activism to further assist you.
The national office exists to provide your chapter with the resources necessary to advocate for conservative principles on your campus. We encourage you to participate in our various campus initiatives, such as the 9/11: Never Forget Project, Freedom Week, and GPA Redistribution, among others. However, we also encourage you to organize activities that you feel will most benefit your chapter. We will work with you to achieve success on your particular campus.
We recommend researching faculty bios on your university’s academic department websites. You should search for anyone who may have a degree from a conservative college or university, a background in conservative organizations, experience with free market economics, or conducts research on public policy issues. Additionally, if your school allows non-faculty members to serve as advisors, be sure to seek out university employees who may be staff members but not professors or lecturers.
Organize events with them! The best way to motivate your peers is to make sure that your chapter is active throughout the year. This means having a plan of action for each week, each month, and each semester. You do not necessarily need to throw a big event each month, but what you should strive for is making sure that your chapter conducts some form of activism on campus regularly. This can range from distributing flyers to challenging another student organization to a debate.
Of course, you should feel free to organize social gatherings for your peers.
+I do not have any experience running an organization? Can I receive materials and training to learn how to run a chapter?
Yes! Once you fill out the Young Americans for Freedom chapter agreement and we review it, we will send you an initial activism package that includes various informational flyers, a PowerPoint introduction for your first meeting, the Conservative Guide to Campus Activism, and other training materials.
Additionally, we host year-round training sessions at our headquarters in northern Virginia for new chapter chairs. We will offer you educational sessions on various aspects of activism, including recruiting, fundraising, and public relations, among others.
As you grow your chapter and become more active, we will work with you each step of the way to assure that conservative principles prevail on your campus through campus lectures, campus initiatives, and training conferences and seminars.
+Organizing events on campus and attending conferences sounds great. But how do I fundraise for my chapter?
Through our experience working with conservative student organizations, we have found that student governments, offices of university and school administrators, and academic departments often have funds available for lectures. You should contact these sources on your campus. Additionally, you should consult the Conservative Guide to Campus Activism that we will include in your initial activism package.
Do not be dissuaded by the cost of an event that you are interested in organizing! Keep in mind that Young America’s Foundation can assist you financially.
+My school’s administration is hard to work with. How do I grow my chapter while facing unsupportive administrators?
If you are facing an administration that does not approve of your holding conservative events on campus or is proving challenging, contact local media, state government officials (especially if your university or school is public), and other potential allies. Of course, you should also reach out to Young America’s Foundation! We can provide advice for your particular campus and situation. We have experience in nationally highlighting cases of ideological bias on various campuses throughout the country. In many of those cases, we have succeeded in getting the university or school to back down.