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Freedom in Philly


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Two weeks ago on Thursday, November 2 through Sunday, November 5, three Poly students were chosen to be a part of the Freedom Foundation Youth Conference. Juniors Carina Ayala and Lenny Khan, along with Senior Elaina Miskiel were the chosen participants to go to Philadelphia and experience the fundamentals of the program. They stayed on the Freedom Foundation’s campus at Valley Forge.

The Freedom Foundation was started in 1945 and has been running successfully ever since. It’s focused on “overcoming challenges to freedom by providing experiential educational programs while challenging participants to examine our history and discuss the issues of the day” according to their website. Each of their programs have been thoughtfully planned out and designed to ensure that both young people and adults gain new or deeper appreciation for the significance of the founding documents and acquire tools for engaged, responsible citizenship.

Since its beginning, Freedom Foundation’s mission was and still is to educate Americans on rights and responsibilities, honor acts of civic virtue, and challenge all to reject apathy and get involved.

Carina Ayala explained that her experience “definitely changed the way [she] think about Congress” and “[she’s] learned so much”. All participants expressed their enjoyment of the time they had and the new information that they learned. Lenny Khan said, “It was good to see other’s perspectives on how they view politics. It was fun to meet others from other states.”

During their trip Ayala, Miskiel, Khan, other students from other schools had the chance to go around the city and sight see some of Philadelphia’s landscapes. Some of the landmarks that they had the opportunity to see in person were the Liberty Bell, the Independence Hall, the Philadelphia Courthouse, and where George Washington’s home used to stand. They had the opportunity to be a part of a mock trial of the Masterpiece Cake Shop, Ltd. versus Colorado Civil Rights Commission while in the courthouse which is in fact a real case that will occur on December 5 of this year.

Khan described the lessons that the trip taught him personally: “Be more open, don’t shut other people’s thoughts down. Consider other’s ideas not only your own.”

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