American Exceptionalism: The Education of Reagan & the Enduring Promise of the American Dream

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Young America’s Foundation is thrilled to announce its inaugural high school program at the newly acquired Reagan Boyhood Home in Dixon, Illinois!

This two-day program will give high school students an insight into the people, places, and ideas that shaped our 40th President as a young man, allowing them to better understand why and how Ronald Reagan changed the country and the world and how they can do the same. Key values, such as faith, patriotism, humility, perseverance, optimism, and hard work were instilled in Ronald Reagan as a boy and shaped his vision of what America was, is, and could be –a “Shining City on a Hill.”

Today, young people are taught that America is the exact opposite –a place of racism, oppression, and limited opportunity– and that our most important systems and institutions– the Constitution, free enterprise, free speech, and religious liberty among them – are simply instruments of this oppression. This program will help students grapple with important questions about American identity and better equip them to understand and defend the principles of freedom.

Throughout this program, students will hear from some of the Conservative Movement’s brightest minds, be inspired by their stories and insights, meet like-minded peers from across the country, receive invaluable resources, and tour the charming Midwest home and town that built young Ronald Reagan.

TUITION: Tuition for this program is only $25 and includes one night in the hotel, conference tuition, materials, and meals from Thursday lunch through Friday dinner.

TUITION ASSISTANCE:  Tuition assistance may be available on a case-by-case basis for those with demonstrable financial need. If you have financial need, please email a brief essay (no more than a page) to Jolie Ballantyne at with some language regarding your financial need. We cannot consider your request until we receive this essay.

TRAVEL ASSISTANCE:  Tavel assistance may be available on a case-by-case basis for those with demonstrable financial need. Please email a brief essay (no more than a page) to that includes:

  • Language regarding your financial need
  • What you hope to gain by attending the conference
  • Your travel plans
  • The expected amount of your travel plans and the amount you are requesting. (For example, expected travel costs from LAX to ORD $500. I am requesting $200 in assistance.)

We will not consider your request until we receive this completed essay. Please note that travel assistance is not guaranteed and is allocated on a case-by-case basis. Incomplete essays will not be considered. Travel assistance essays are due no later than June 25, 2021, but are issued first come first served.

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Young Americas Foundation

Young America’s Foundation Press Release

Young America’s Foundation (YAF) is excited to announce that YAF is the new caretaker and
owner of President Ronald Reagan’s boyhood home in Dixon, Illinois. YAF looks forward to
carrying on the important work of preserving and protecting this historic property, which has
been managed and cared for by the Ronald Reagan Home Preservation Foundation since 1980.
Growing up in Dixon, Illinois—in a modest home built in 1891—was a formative experience for
Ronald Reagan. It was there, in the 1920s, that he developed the values that would guide the rest
of his life. As Reagan said of his hometown, “All of us have to have a place we go back to.
Dixon is that place for me. There was the life that has shaped my body and mind for all the years
to come.”