Young Leaders

Young Leaders
"You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom.  I hope you will make good use of it."

- John Quincy Adams

The Need

Freedom can only be preserved if our leaders understand and appreciate America’s unique economic and political structures and the principles on which they rest. Most young people in America today graduate from college without understanding or valuing American institutions or ideas. Yet these are our future economic, civic, and political leaders. This is a dangerous trend.

The Freedom Foundation’s Young Leaders Program summer internship identifies student leaders and cultivates within them a love of free market principles and the power of limited government and personal responsibility.

Our internship alumni include exceptional students from both private and public universities, including Hillsdale College, Georgetown University, and the University of Washington.

The Program

The Young Leaders Program Summer Internship is 10-12 weeks long. Students spend 40 hours a week working and learning in the Freedom Foundation’s dynamic atmosphere of principled policy analysis and public engagement.

Rather than making copies and getting coffee, interns research, develop, and communicate specific policy recommendations under the tutelage of our experienced team of policy analysts. Our students leave with a sense of accomplishment. Their work produces tangible results including publications, studies, and editorials they have researched and written. As much as possible, students will be assigned projects that match their interests and strengths. This summer, our policy areas include budget & taxes, labor, education, property rights, and constitutional government & election integrity. 

In addition to our policy arenas, one of the internships may be offered in the Freedom Foundation’s Communications Department. This intern will gain experience in media and public relations, writing, speaking, graphic arts, and video and audio engineering projects. Preference for this position will be given to students with experience in one or more of the following: desktop publishing, audio or video production, graphic arts, or persuasive writing. Interested students should indicate their preference for the Communications internship on their application.

Applicants may also request placement in the Citizen Action Network (CAN), the Freedom Foundation’s grassroots networking branch. For more information about CAN visit


Preference is given to students entering their sophomore or junior year of college, but all are welcome to apply. Applicants must:

  • agree with the philosophy and mission of the Freedom Foundation,
  • demonstrate strong skills in research, writing, and oral communication,
  • possess intellectual curiosity, good character, and the ability to work well with others,
  • show a history of strong character and leadership,
  • agree to show up as scheduled, on time, dressed appropriately, and
  • demonstrate a working knowledge of common office software.


Program Costs

This is a paid internship program.

The program costs the Freedom Foundation approximately $5,000 per intern.  If you would like to sponsor an intern or contribute to the program, donations can be made by contacting Gail Kramer at (360) 956-3482 or or online at

To Apply

Interested students should submit an application to Trent England at with the following components: 

  • A current resume that lists your full name, mailing address, phone number, email address, name of school, year in school (entering freshman, sophomore, etc.), and field of study.
  • A one-page (or less) statement on why you want to be considered for a summer internship, including any Freedom Foundation department or issue preferences.
  • Two letters of recommendation, one of which must be from an academic instructor.
  • An 800-word writing sample on the following topic:

The French and American Revolutions occurred at the end of the same century, but yielded far different results.  In 1789, French streets were full of the cry Liberté, Egalité, and Fraternité!; a far more marketable slogan than the American counterpart of “No taxation without representation.”

Describe the reasons you believe the American Revolution resulted in a free society while the French Revolution did not.

Applications may also be mailed to:

Freedom Foundation
Attn: Trent England
P.O. Box 552
Olympia, WA 98507

Application Deadline
The application period opens February 1. The final deadline to submit a complete application is March 31. Final interviews will be conducted prior to April 15.

For More Information
Contact Trent England at (360) 956-3482 or


Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow Program

In addition to the Young Leaders Program, the Freedom Foundation participates in the Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow Program hosted by the Charles Koch Institute. Koch Fellows attend two week-long career skills seminars in Washington, D.C and weekly lectures in addition to completing a seven-week internship at a state-based policy group. Participants recieve a stipend to cover housing, travel, and any other related costs. Applicants may request placement with the Freedom Foundation. Applications are due March 1. Go here for more information.


Young Leaders Spotlights

Listen to what our internship alumni have to say!

Anna YL Anna Stinogel, Hillsdale College, Class of 2011

”My summer at the Freedom Foundation was a rewarding one. I learned so much about the field of public policy, not only in my specific policy arena’s disciplines, but in the other concentrations as well. The Freedom Foundation staff were very friendly and encouraging and were always there to push me to the next great thing and help me along the way. My supervisors and office-mates and I had a lot of fun, even as we took our work seriously. At one point, my fellow interns and I had the opportunity to sit on a panel and discuss Milton Friedman’s thoughts on freedom at a couple lunches, which was a great chance to meet the amazing people that back and support the Freedom Foundation.”


Ben YLBen Hayter, Hillsdale College, Class of 2011

”The Young Leaders Program at the Freedom Foundation is one of the best internships in the nation for college students who want to get involved with important political issues. Everyone at the Freedom Foundation works toward the common goals of advancing individual liberty, free enterprise, and limited, accountable government, and the program really reflects that. My time with the Freedom Foundation was fantastic; I was able to work with some of the smartest men and women in Washington State to help expose inaccuracies in our state elections, and I also helped in their defense of the Electoral College. Overall, the program is a must-apply for any informed and motivated students who care about their freedom and are trying to find a place where they can work to defend it.”


Bryan YL Bryan Leonard, Montana State University, MA in Applied Economics, 2012; BA in Economics, Hillsdale College, Class of 2010

“My time at the Freedom Foundation was one of the most inspiring and energizing experiences I’ve had. I was interested in politics and economics from a young age, but became disillusioned and fed up by the time I left high school. Years ago, I threw my hands in the air and became apathetic because I saw no hope for change. I found that I was mistaken after just a few days at the Evergreen Freedom Foundation. In the Young Leaders Program I was surrounded by bright and driven individuals that showed me how important it is to reach out to people, and that we can make a difference. My time at the Freedom Foundation empowered me to write more persuasively, think strategically, and work tirelessly. The Foundation is focused on winning the hearts and minds of the people and pushing back against government from the bottom up. I am convinced this is the only way that we can turn aside from the disastrous road we find ourselves advancing down today. The work that the Evergreen Freedom Foundation does is absolutely essential to preserving freedom in our country and our state, and I am thrilled to have been a part of it. I leave the Freedom Foundation with a new sense of perspective on our country and a renewed vigor to fight for liberty.”


Olivia YLOlivia Wolcott, Hillsdale College, Class of 2011

“My internship with the Freedom Foundation was the best possible thing I could have done with my summer. The experience was both fun and challenging, as the program balanced high levels of responsibility with a fun and exciting working environment. Rather than just making copies and brewing coffee, I had the chance to take charge of my own projects and gain a sense of ownership of them, while getting great direction from both my center director and the other awesome Freedom Foundation staff members. I would highly recommend the internship to any college student looking for something exciting and worthwhile to do between semesters. At the end of the ten weeks, I could look back on what I had done and feel a sense of real accomplishment as a contributor to something worthwhile … I can’t imagine any better way to spend the summer!”


Hans YL Hans Zeiger, Washington State Representative, 25th District; MA in Public Policy, Pepperdine, 2009; BA in American Studies, Hillsdale College, 2007

“Interning at the Freedom Foundation is about the best thing you could do with your summer…. When I interned at EFF, I helped to expose the state’s corrupt liquor bureaucracy, to promote cost-effective school construction, and to review the state budget for wasteful spending…. Perhaps most importantly, I formed friendships with men and women who share a common devotion to freedom. Not only was it an honor to intern at America’s finest state-based think tank, it was also fun.”

After serving as senior class president and graduating from Hillsdale College in 2007, Hans attended Pepperdine University where he received an MA in Public Policy. The author of two books on young Americans and a senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union (a non-profit organization that promotes the U.S. Constitution), Hans was elected to the Washington State House of Representatives last November where he will represent the 25th District.


Andrew YL Andrew Vanderput, Hillsdale College, Class of 2008

“The best aspect about my internship at Freedom Foundation was that it enabled me to finally apply what economic knowledge I had gained in school to real world policies and needs. In other words, at EFF, economic theory meets real world reality. Anyone who has the privilege of being a future EFF intern will most certainly agree.”

Today Andrew lives in Colorado Springs, CO with his wife Jamie. After graduating from Hillsdale College in 2008 with a BA in Political Economy, Andrew participated in the Charles G. Koch Foundation’s intern and associate program. He now works as a field communications specialist for Mission of Mercy, a child sponsorship program that provides medical, educational, and spiritual support to impoverished children all over the world.


Katie YL Katie Jo Buccola, Seattle University, Class of 2008

“My experience as an intern at the Freedom Foundation was an amazing one! I received an incredible amount of valuable experience with the inner workings of media relations for a political organization…. Most importantly I developed a deepened appreciation for the liberty that we are so blessed with here in America, and the vigilance and the tremendous effort required to maintain that liberty; keeping the public informed and holding our government responsible.”

Katie graduated Summa Cum Laude from Seattle University with a B.S. in Diagnostic Ultrasound with a focus in pediatric cardiology. She is finishing her second year as a pediatric cardiac sonographer at the Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, CA. She stays up to date and involved in the conservative political realm.