Every year, hundreds of leaders receive training from Patriot Academy. And every year that number is increasing! Through email updates, our social media, and the Patriot Press, we work to inform you about the impact supporters like you are having through Patriot Academy’s work.
It’s one thing for us to tell you about the difference Patriot Academy is making in the hearts and lives of America’s leaders, but it’s another thing to show you.
And what better way than through the testimony of the students themselves.
The following is a letter that Patriot Academy Alumnus Anna Skrnich sent to the friends and family who enabled her to attend the Academy.
Dear Friends and Family,
I am speechless when I think of how you each enabled me to attend the National Patriot Academy last week. Without each of your prayers, donations, and support I know that this would have been impossible. When I sent in my application to Patriot Academy I was trusting that God would provide the support and funds I needed, and I am thankful to announce that We raised the exact amount necessary for tuition. Praise God!
When I think of all that I learned this past week, it is difficult to choose any one lesson I learned above any other. I can truly say that this has been one of the most challenging, and inspiring weeks of my life. I’d like to share with you all some of the life changing lessons that were instilled in me at Patriot Academy.
One of the first lectures of the week was given by Ryder Erickson, a business coach and mentor. Something he said has stayed with me, and I think it well describes Patriot Academy’s purpose:
“Successful people invest in themselves, unsuccessful people entertain themselves.”
Patriot Academy was a week of intense study, experience, and training that allowed all of us to invest in ourselves, so that we can further invest in our communities, our states, and our country.
An average day at Patriot Academy is intense. They pack as much into every day as possible, so when we walked from our hotel to the Capitol around 7:30 each morning, we didn’t return until just before 10:00 at night. We received lectures from such notable speakers as Krish Dhanam, David Barton, Rick Green, Cliff Graham, and many others.
Along with these lectures, we spent nearly an entire day immersed in Rick Green’s The Leader’s Edge program, training us in purposeful communication, rapport skills, and public speaking. We also received an incredible and intense training called Campaign in a Day from American Majority. This program taught all the fundamentals of a successful political campaign and more. We participated in five, fully functioning house sessions where we students debated and presented legislation that we ourselves had written. It was a bit difficult to work these sessions in due to the Texas 85th Legislature being in active special session, but that difficulty also provided the opportunity for us to meet and receive feedback from many actual state legislators!
While at the academy, I had the opportunity to present my bill in front of my committee. This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but also one of the most impactful.
All of these things and so many more made up some very inspiring moments of my week, but the most life changing lesson I learned was a much more abstract one. I learned that fear is something very real, but it doesn’t have to win. I went into this week unsure, overwhelmed, and afraid of failure. I was afraid of vulnerability, and yes, any form of public speaking! I left confident, equipped, and more experienced in so many ways.
Before presenting my bill in committee, the committee chair asked me to share a very personal story along with facts to support my bill. He knew that this would be difficult for me, and would put me in a vulnerable position, but asked me to do it anyway, and now I see this as the most influential and life changing event of my week. My committee chair told me after my presentation that there was a purpose to this. That the most impactful and strongest moments of his life had been when he had made himself vulnerable, and showed his weaknesses in front of others.
It was through this experience that God taught me the realities of the truth of 2 Corinthians 12:9-11.
God’s strength is made perfect in my weakness.
I realized that everything I feared had come true, I was incapable, and unprepared in so many ways, and this was the most wonderful thing that could have happened to me, for it was then that I needed God most, and relied upon him to be my strength.
Fear doesn’t have to have the last word, and it doesn’t have to cripple us. Letting go of our fear can enable us to have an even greater impact, and this can be a tool to show us how insufficient we are without God’s strength.
In closing, I want to thank each of you again with all my heart. Every lesson and experience this week has been life-changing, and each of you have invested in me in some way to make this possible. I wholeheartedly recommend Patriot Academy for any person of any age, and I hope many of you are able to share the experience that I have had!
Want to get involved so that more young leaders
like Ana can continue being trained through Patriot Academy?