The Penn State Chapter of Young Americans for Freedom was selected as Chapter of the Year for the first time at the organization’s 19th Biannual National Convention in Orange County, Calif. on Oct. 16.
Samuel Settle, chairman of YAF, said the organization is one of the oldest and most prestigious youth groups in the country, and he thinks it is a great honor to be recognized as the best in the country.
“I’m incredibly proud of the everything our chapter has done,” Settle (junior-political science and history) said. “It speaks to the hard work and dedication that every member has shown.”
YAF National Chairman Erik Johnson said an exclusive committee of top alumni leaders selected the 2010 Chapter of the Year. Chapters were judged on the criteria of how the chapter interacts with its university, the state and the country as a whole.
Whether playing an active role in the community, meeting with elected officials or organizing leadership conferences, the YAF Penn State Chapter is consistently delivering powerful messages, Johnson said. He said this honor typically goes to the chapter that epitomizes the values of YAF or has significantly advanced the cause.
“Essentially we felt that Penn State has done a fantastic job,” Johnson said. “They demonstrated what we would like to see every chapter do.”
Johnson said this year’s National Convention marked the 50th Anniversary of YAF, and to be honored at such an event is something Penn State should be very pleased with.
Penn State YAF Vice Chairman David Carr said the honor came as no shock to him because of all the hard work and dedication the group members have been putting in. He said the protests over the “Climategate” controversy in February gained the organization national attention and definitely contributed to the honor.
“The award is well-deserved,” Carr (junior-economics) said. “We’re really getting our name as well as our views out there to the public.”
YAF has also been heavily active with debates and protests, including Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to campus, Carr said. He said another contributing factor for the honor was the memorial organized to commemorate the tragedy of 9/11.
Settle said the chapter is “collectively keeping the movement going forward” and has every intention of receiving the award again in the future.