On August 20th, Students for Life of America (SFLA) launched its inaugural Wilberforce Leadership Fellowship at their National Headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.
The vision of the Fellowship is to equip and further train student pro-life leaders to form national and state leaders that will help end abortion in our lifetime.
For the kick-off weekend, SFLA welcomed the 2010-2011 class of Wilberforce Leadership Fellows. During the weekend, Fellows heard from David Bereit, National Coordinator for 40 Days for Life and participated in seminars on the history of the pro-life movement, pro-life apologetics, how to build and cultivate pro-life campus groups, and leadership training given by Students for Life staff.
Upon finishing the Wilberforce Leadership Fellowship Kick-Off Weekend, Kristan Hawkins, Executive Director of Students for Life, remarked: “These students are the rockstars of the campus pro-life movement. The Fellowship will help to continue their growth in leadership as well as propel them into a pro-life career by networking them with mentors and leaders from the national pro-life movement. We are so excited to be working with them this school year!”
Throughout the 2010-2011 school year, each of the Wilberforce Fellows will be participating in a pro-life leadership training program to help them build their campus groups and to become better leaders. The Fellows will be reading various books and articles on leadership, listening to webcasts and seminars on leadership in the pro-life movement, and will be meeting and talking with mentors on a regular basis. Each Wilberforce Fellow has been paired with a national pro-life leader to help them get the training and experience they need to start a career in the pro-life movement.
Students for Life of America selected 9 Wilberforce Fellows, all of whom are leaders in their University Students for Life groups:
• Angela Bevilacqua, Arizona State University
• Devyn Nelson, North Dakota State University
• Kelsey Hazzard, University of Virginia School of Law
• Megan Redmond, Sacramento State University
• Natalie Fohl, McGill University in Montreal, Canada
• Jessica Brown, Cardinal Stritch University
• Sean Maguire, Liberty University
• Sarah Piron, Northern Kentucky University
• Shea Hasenauer, Cornell University.
The mentors for the 2010-2011 Wilberforce Fellows include:
• David Bereit, National Campaign Director 40 Days for Life
• Steven Ertelt, Editor and CEO of Life News.com
• Marjorie Dannedfelser, President of Susan B. Anthony List
• Daniel McConchie, Vice President of Government Affairs for Americans United for Life (AUL)
• Peggy Hartshorn, President of Heartbeat International
• Tom McClusky, Senior Vice President of FRC Action
• Brad Mattes, Executive Director of Life Issues Institute
• Olivia Gans, President of the Virginia Society for Human Life
• Steve Aden, Senior Legal Counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund
• Kristan Hawkins, Executive Director of Students for Life of America
After listening to one of the mentors’ speech, David Bereit of 40 Days for Life, the Wilberforce Fellows were inspired to carry Bereit’s message of hope back to their campuses. “It gave me a boost in passion and I just want to get out there and see it done and actually end abortion,” said Sean Maguire from Liberty University. “It is so encouraging that there is so much faith and hope in this movement; that we are coming on a time when [abortion] will end!”
Angela Bevilacqua from Arizona State University added, “This whole weekend has been a God-send for me and my club.”
The Wilberforce Fellowship begins in August of 2010 and will end in July of 2011. “I can only imagine that by the time I’m done with the Wilberforce Fellowship, I will have gained so much knowledge and understanding,” said Jessica Brown from Cardinal Stritch University.
For more information on the Wilberforce Fellowship, please contact Mary Powers, Communications Director for Students for Life of America. firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-351-6280.