This summer, Mackenzie VanDixhorn ’20, had the opportunity to work for Young America’s Foundation (YAF) at the Reagan Ranch. YAF is a youth organization founded in 1969, committed to ensuring that increasing numbers of young Americans understand and are inspired by the ideas of individual freedom, a strong national defense, free enterprise, and traditional values. The Reagan Ranch, also called Rancho del Cielo, served as President Reagan’s home for twenty-five years and the Western White House for eight. Today, the property is owned by YAF, and preserves the Ranch as “a living monument to Reagan’s ideas, values, and lasting accomplishments.” 

Mackenzie said, “I was blessed with the incredible opportunity to intern for Young America’s Foundation at the Reagan Ranch this summer.” Her responsibilities included giving tours of the historic property which allowed her to learn about President Reagan in a “unique and immersive way.”  Her other responsibilities included assisting with many of YAF’s student programs and conferences. At these events, Mackenzie was able to meet prominent speakers such as Vice President Mike Pence, Ben Shapiro, and Ted Cruz.  At the conferences, she was also able to introduce various speakers and network with other like-minded individuals. “This opportunity has allowed me to grow in many different ways, and I’m so thankful for it,” Mackenzie said. “If you are ever able to attend a Young America’s Foundation Conference at the Reagan Ranch, I would greatly encourage you to!”