Rearing the Next
Generation of Pro-Life Leaders
More Important Than Ever in the Obama Era
By Joleigh Little,
Wisconsin Teens for Life and Regional Coordinator,
Except for one
constantly encouraging factor, it might be easy to be discouraged in
the aftermath of the November 2008 elections. In the time since
then, pro-abortion forces, entrenched in the White House and
Congress, have not passed up a single opportunity to target the
people we fight so hard to protect, nor have they taken a break from
their diabolical efforts. They barely paused for Christmas!
But we need look no
further than the next generation of pro-lifers to know that the
future of our Movement—the noble defenders of unborn children—is in
incredible hands. The up-and-coming generation of pro-lifers is
energetic, it is passionate, and it is sharp! If you are around them
for even the briefest time, you cannot help but be massively
impressed. They are helping us now as they prep for larger future
But (and there always
is a “but”) these dynamic young people who will fill our shoes in 10
or 20 years aren’t going to automatically know what to do when they
assume leadership roles. It is our job—yours and mine—to train them.
Think about it. By
investing today (your time, talents, financial support, prayers, and
experience) in the life of one or more young pro-lifers, you can
have a huge impact on the future of the cause of life.
We have seen it time
and time again. If pro-life adults (chapter leaders, teen advisors,
affiliate staffers, or even just average grassroots pro-lifers) take
the time to teach, train, mentor, and befriend the young people who
care so much about our issue, there is no limit to what they can and
will do for the cause of life.
If everyone who reads
this article takes the time to invest in just one young person,
imagine the political and social landscape in our nation just five
or ten years from now.
Here’s what you can
If you are a state
affiliate of National Right to Life: get excited about youth! We
have resources and advisors available to help you plan teen
conventions, rallies, and even camps. Our National Teens for Life
Convention every summer provides tons of educational information for
Send us a few key
teens from your state and we will give them back ready to spread the
word about life. Or, send that person from your staff who loves
teenagers to get some ideas that can be implemented in your state.
If your state has already embraced the next generation and has some
ideas to share, please tell us about them!
If you are a local
chapter: invite young people to be a part of what you are doing.
Find that person in your chapter who naturally works well with teens
and ask them to help get a local Teens for Life group started.
Create a position or two on your chapter board for young people.
Some chapters have a teenager as well as a college student that
regularly comes to meetings, knows what is going on, and can serve
as a liaison between your chapter and local teen and college groups,
as well as local schools.
Consider sending a
teen or a college student to events on the state and national level
that will provide them with further training. They will make the
time, but often don’t have the money to cover transportation and
registration costs. Find a way to help them make that trip—it will
be an investment that pays off for years to come.
If you are an
individual who loves working with teens, get involved with your
local chapter and offer to advise a Teens for Life group.
If you are an
individual who wants to help, but doesn’t naturally gravitate toward
teens, offer to help fund a local young person’s trip to the state
convention, a pro-life summer camp, the National Teens for Life
Summit or Convention. If you don’t know of such a young person in
your local area, send a gift to National Teens for Life marked
“scholarship” and we will make sure that money goes directly to help
train and educate a pro-life young person.
Regardless of who you
are or on what level you serve the pro-life community, you can have
a direct impact on the future just by investing in the life of a
young person who shares your commitment to protecting unborn
children and medically vulnerable people.
There is little doubt
that the next three years will bring even more challenges for our
cause and those we fight to protect. But there is also a very real
reason to hope that our pro-life young people will be just the ones
to stop this death agenda in its tracks. Invest in them now and not
only will you be saving lives next week and next month—you will be
saving generations to come.
You can bet on it.
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