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NRL News
Page 9
January 2010
Volume 37
Issue 1

Rearing the Next Generation of Pro-Life Leaders
More Important Than Ever in the Obama Era

By Joleigh Little, Director
Wisconsin Teens for Life and Regional Coordinator,
Wisconsin RTL

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 duties.

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 do.

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 teens.

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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