Group Iwo Jima-web.jpg


National YES Week 2008



YES-SMALL.jpgSince it's inception in 1996, the National Youth Education Summit, better known as YES, has welcomed students to the D.C. Metropolitan Area from all across the country.  YES is a seven day, all expense paid educational experience for current high school sophomores and juniors.  Each year, NRA selects the best and brightest students to visit our Nation's Capital and learn about government, politics and leadership.This year’s Youth Education Summit program was a success.  A total of 45 high school students from all across the country attended the summit with interests in learning about American government, history, leadership, and the NRA. 


The students were delighted to hear the week’s itinerary on the first day—which was loaded with such activities as touring the White House, participating in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, traversing an obstacle course using night vision goggles at Quantico Marine Corps Base, taking a tour of the Pentagon, shooting off firearms at the state-of-the-art NRA Indoor Range, sitting in on a session at the House of Representatives Gallery at the Capitol, visiting the Supreme Court building, viewing exhibits at the National Firearms Museum at NRA Headquarters, listening to speakers from various NRA departments, taking part in teamed debates about Constitutional topics, and much, much more. 


While visiting NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia, the students received a hands-on lesson about government and politics.  They learned how to get involved with their local Friends of NRA committee and make a difference in their neighbors' lives by introducing NRA Community Service and Education & Training programs. Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program, Refuse To Be A Victim® and Women On Target® are just a few of the programs that were discussed with NRA Staff.  The students left the summit with a knowledgeable understanding about NRA, as well as instructions on how to implement the above-mentioned programs into their communities.


Students receive expert instruction on the safe handling and use of firearms at the NRA Range. Certified NRA instructors from throughout the building at NRA Headquarters took time out of their busy schedules to help out at this event.  They showed the students safe handling techniques while coaching the more experienced shooters on how to shoot accurately with .22 LR rifles.  Students, also had the opportunity to visit the National Firearms Museum and have an in depth tour by the museum curator who answered questions and gave explanation about the history and evolution of firearms. These students viewed one of a kind collections, featuring a .50 caliber single shot rifle that was brought over on the Mayflower, as well as firearms that were owned and used by such historical notables as Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley.


In the middle of the week, students were led through a tour of the White House, where they viewed the different colored rooms and saw first-hand where the President resides. Another highlight of the week was the visit from Congressman Michael McCaul, who met the students on the east side steps of the Capitol in downtown D.C.  Students eagerly asked questions and were excited to meet the Republican politician, who currently serves in the U.S. House of Representatives and is the Congressman for Texas' 10th congressional district.


Toward the latter part of the week, YES students partook in various activities at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Va.  These activities included the night-vision obstacle course, in which the students were broken up into teams of four and had to help each other get down ropes and slides using night vision goggles to see through the dark.  There was also a simulated firearm training session, where students shot off 9mm standard issue pistols and rifles while aiming at computerized targets.  The students then went to the Marine Corps Museum, a new facility located right off the military base full of meticulously detailed exhibits.  Students got a taste of real Marine Corps life by dining on MREs—Meal Ready-to-Eat at the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington, Va. To close out the day, the students attended the Marine Corps 8th and I Parade located at the "Oldest Post of the Corps,". In attendance was Colonel W. Blake Crowe, the Commanding Officer, Marine Barracks, Washington and his special guest, U.S. Senator for Virginia John Warner.


On the last day of their visit to the Washington, D.C., area, students got to witness the Changing of the Guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.  Four students were chosen, based on their participation during the activities throughout the week, to assist the guard during the wreath-laying ceremony.  The chosen students were enthused by the opportunity to partake in such an honorable event. 

YES Wreath Laying-web.jpg



Following the cemetery, the students went to the World War II Memorial and the National Monument.  At the World War II Memorial students were able to speak with World War II Veterans and hear about their heroic acts during their time of service.  


The week ended with the awards banquet, where several students were awarded with college scholarships that ranged from $500 to $2,500.  At the end, several students spoke of their experience during their week and how it changed their lives for the better.


Scholarship Winners



                          §         Joseph Riley – Etowah, TN



                          §         Tabitha Zant– Hext, TX



                          §         Marquee Lucas– Soldotna, AK



§         Joshua Mathews– Milaca, MN

§         Virginia "Ginger" Macfarlan– Siloam Springs, AR

§         Jason Brown – Pittsburgh, PA



§        Halie Fewkes– Kalama, WA

§        Kirk Vaughan– Tampa, FL



Clearly, YES is having an impact on our nation's future leaders, who will someday become champions of the Second Amendment.  Many YES alumni go on to be scholars at prestigious colleges and universities while other alumni attend our nation's elite military academies or enlist directly into the military.


To qualify, all prospective students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.  They must also be current sophomores or juniors enrolled in a credited high school or equivalent.  Students should also have a clear interest in American Government, History, and Politics, as well as the Second Amendment and shooting sports.


NRA is now issuing a call for all young leaders interested in making a difference for the National Youth Education Summit Class of 2009.  The summit will run from July 6 - July 12 2009.  Visit to download an application, or call (800) 672-3888 ext. 1353 to request a mailed copy.