Since attending the NRA Youth Education Summit (Y.E.S.) in 2010, Joe Bliss has had one thing on his mind: politics. Now a junior at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, S.D., Joe is double majoring in political science and criminal justice. After he obtains his degrees, he plans to go to graduate school and break into state politics.
However, Joe isn't waiting until grad school to take action: He is setting the stage now to be a successful lawmaker as an intern with the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA). Why did Joe come to Washington, D.C. to work for the NRA if he wants to be a South Dakotan politician?
"I am the state director for South Dakota's Students for Concealed Carry," said Joe. "I am advocating for a campus concealed carry bill and want to have our district representative sponsor the bill in 2015."
There is no better place than the NRA if you are a passionate young advocate for the Second Amendment, and Y.E.S. helped him realize that over three years ago. While at Y.E.S., Joe visited NRA Headquarters and talked with the heads of some of NRA's prominent departments including youth programs, NRA University, women's programs, law enforcement, and Friends of NRA. He also participated in competitive debates with his peers on Constitutional issues, which he says helped him with his speech and debate skills.
"I am in the college Republicans, and every year we participate in a debate with the college Democrats. My Y.E.S. experience helped with my debating skills, gave me the ability to interact with people from different points of views and be able to create persuasive arguments," said Joe.
Joe also has plans to be a registered lobbyist for South Dakota, and ultimately to be able to influence matters in his community, including gun rights. The NRA and the Y.E.S. program is extremely proud of this young man and his endeavors to create a better America!
Joe's experience while at Y.E.S. was fully funded by the South Dakota Friends of NRA and The NRA Foundation. You and your parents can help others like Joe succeed by attending a Friends of NRA banquet today! View events at www.friendsofnra.org.