Free hotel stay during the March for Life

After hearing about just how life-changing our Students for Life National Conference has been for so many young leaders, one of our long-time supporters just called and offered a generous grant to help us bring more people to our National Conferences than ever before.

Because we all know that staying in DC an extra night for the Students for Life National Conference is one of the biggest expenses you will have.

Here’s what our donor has offered to do:

Any student group (college, high school, youth group) that is coming to the March for Life in Washington and hasn’t registered yet for the Students for Life of America East Coast National Conference can get free hotel housing in Maryland near the conference venue if they register within the next two weeks.

Here’s the catch: We only have enough funds to pay for hotels for one night (so it’s first come, first served) and there will be four people to a room. Further, this awesome new opportunity only applies to student groups (10 people or more) who have never been to the Students for Life National Conference or who haven’t been to our Conference since 2013.

Want to make sure your group can come to our East Coast National Conference on Saturday, January 28th (the day after the March for Life)?

Simply fill out this form https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdlQ-aIPL-Yt6bOo2-B5S2B9gxMnqqzZaLVaw95tdbdcam6bw/viewform.

From there, we will send you the link to register for the conference and form to fill out for the free hotel rooms! The registration fee for the conference is only $45 per person and that includes free shuttle rides to and from the metro station, lunch, and dinner – plus, now, a free hotel night!

Check out the amazing, jam-packed schedule for break-out and general sessions featuring Abby Johnson, Josh Brahm, Shawn Carney and more at: www.sflalive.com/schedule.

If you can’t make it out to our East Coast National Conference but want to be at the West Coast National Conference on Sunday, January 22nd, you can register for that event easily at www.sflalive.com. The first 100 to register get 50% off their registration! Use the code: FIRST100

Nominate Your Group for SFLA’s Group of the Year Awards!

Every year, Students for Life of America is honored to award prizes to student groups and leaders at our National Conferences! These cash prizes can help further the outreach efforts and the effectiveness of these groups at their schools.

To award these prizes to deserving students and groups, we need you to nominate the groups and leaders you think deserve recognition – you can even nominate your own group! Listed below are the categories, prize amounts, and nomination forms for each award. Winning groups must be present at the SFLA West or East Coast National Conference to receive the award.

Applications are due no later than January 13, 2017. Email us (link to lstover@studentsforlife.org) your applications today!

 

College  Group  Awards

2017 College Group of the Year

$1,000 Prize

This award will recognize the all-around excellence of one college pro-life student group. The SFLA College Group of the Year will demonstrate success in areas of campus activism, recruitment, and community involvement.

Follow this link to apply: 2017 College Group of the Year Award Application

 

2017 New College Group of the Year

$500 Prize

This award will recognize an outstanding new pro-life college group that was formed between January 2016 and December 2016. The New College Group of the Year Award will be given to a group that has shown success in recruiting members and raising awareness about abortion on campus.

Follow this link to apply: 2017 New College Group of the Year Award Application

 

2017 Pregnant on Campus Group of the Year

Prize: $250 (in gift cards)

The Pregnant on Campus Group of the Year Award will recognize the achievements of two Students for Life college groups that have excelled in promoting pregnant and parenting resources. (One award will be given to an East Coast group; the other award will be given to an West Coast group.)

The SFLA Pregnant on Campus Groups of the Year should demonstrate success in pregnant and parenting advocacy and outreach on their college campus. This group should show significant efforts to change their campus to embrace practices and policies that protect and assist pregnant and parenting students.

Follow this link to apply: 2017 PonC Group of the Year Award

High School Group Awards

2017 High School Group of Year

$1,000 Prize

This award will recognize the all-around excellence of one high school pro-life student group. The SFLA High School Group of the Year will demonstrate success in activism, recruitment, and community involvement.

Follow this link to apply: 2017 High School Group of the Year Award Application

 

2017 New High School Group of the Year

$500 Prize

The New High School Group of the Year will be given to the student pro-life group who has best developed and organized an innovative way to share the pro-life message at their high schools or in their homeschool communities.

Follow this link to apply: 2017 New High School Group of the Year Award Application

Why come to our national conferences? Former attendees tell all!

Students for Life of America will be hosting its 11th annual national conference in January 2017 in Washington, DC and its fourth annual conference in San Francisco. The theme of “Heroic” follows the annual March for Life in DC and the West Coast March for Life in San Francisco. The East Coast National Conference is the largest social gathering of pro-life youth in the world. Students who attend the SFLA conferences will benefit from extensive training that is designed to improve their leadership and help them end abortion in their lifetime.UNM1

But why take it from us, when we have former attendees willing to talk about how awesome the conferences are themselves?

According to Anja Scheib, the SFLA conference is “a once-a-year opportunity to be trained by, hear, and see up close the leadership of the pro-life movement.”

Scheib is a former Wilberforce Fellow and former President of Mississippi State Students for Life. She will be leading the Pregnant on Campus breakout session at the DC conference, a conference she has attended herself in the past as a student leader. “It really benefited me to have in-person Q&A with pro-life organizations I usually only get the chance to read about.”

Samantha Serrano, who founded Students for Life at the University of New Mexico, expressed how the conference gave her and other students the tools to abolish abortion: “The National Conference is a fantastic resource! It is absolutely incredible to be among so many other young pro-lifers who are just as excited to end abortion as you are. It is the perfect place to go to get inspiration on how you can address the problems of abortion in your own community. You will leave feeling equipped and motivated to abolish abortion.”

Lauren Castillo, National Diocesan Relations Director & National Faith Foundations Program Director for SFLA, said the national conference impacted her future working in the pro-life movement:

“I was first introduced to the SFLA National Conference when I was leading my SFL group in college. It was because of those relationships that I was able to build through that experience that I am now doing pro-life missionary work full-time with Students for Life of America. It has been so exciting watching these conferences positively and tremendously impacts the students’ lives that attend.”

Castillo stresses the importance the SFLA conferences have made in the lives of many pro-life leaders: “Many of the students I have worked with over the past four years students-for-life-conferenceattribute their roles in the pro-life movement as being initiated at the conference itself. There is nothing comparable to learning from the top national pro-life leaders with years, and even lifetimes of experiences, and with thousands of other high school and college students your age. I think every young pro-life student should attend these conferences so they can connect with others, re-energize their efforts, find tangible ways to become active, and learn valuable material.”

Rocky Mountain Regional Coordinator Bethany Janzen went to the conference as a sophomore and member of Oregon Students for Life, and describes it as the highlight of her year: “After an intense day at the Walk for Life counter-protesting a radical pro-abortion group, I had the opportunity to learn in a relaxed, yet professional environment from top apologists and the leaders of the pro-life movement.”

arizonastateJanzen continues to attend the West Coast conference three years later and recommends, “that students attend so that they become better equipped to abolish abortion and change the world!”

The Heroic conference will meet in San Francisco on January 22, 2017 and in Washington DC on January 28, 2017. Sign up here: www.sflalive.org.

Students will hear from pro-life leaders and organizations like Alliance Defending Freedom, Kristan Hawkins with SFLA, Josh Brahm with Equal Rights Institute, and Rebecca Haschke with Justice for All. Several breakout workshops will teach students how to successfully participate in Pregnant on Campus, the Real Sex Week, and 40 Days for Life, and more initiatives that make positive impacts on their campus.

Volunteer Opportunity!

Looking for a way to help out at the March for Life and the Students for Life National Conference in Washington, D.C. this January?  Then we have the opportunity for you!!!

We have 24 volunteer spots available.  We need volunteers to help SFLA pass out signs at the March for Life on Friday, January 27th and to help out the following day, Saturday, January 28th at our National Conference.

Duties include:

Friday, January 27th – March for Life

Working at a distribution site at the March for Life from 8am – 1pm when the March begins (or earlier if your signs get distributed early and there are no other distribution sites that need help).  We also need one person to be a social media runner from 10am – 3pm delivering SD cards from March for Life Route to Digital Media Strategist to get content online.  This person must be able to ride a bike.

Saturday, January 28th – SFLA National Conference

Various volunteer responsibilities from registration, crowd control, meal distribution, and clean up.  The day will begin at 7am and end by 8pm at the latest based on job assignments and the volunteer’s individual travel plans.

Volunteers will receive hotel accommodations with the SFLA team at the Metro Points Hotel for the nights of Friday, January 27th and Saturday, January 28th and a free admission to the SFLA East Coast National Conference.

To apply fill out the form below and we will contact you for an interview.

Where We’ll Be!

Students for Life of America is the nation’s largest pro-life youth organization and as such, January is quite the busy month for us! We have staff covering almost every part of the country and work hard to develop relationships with pro-life students in every corner of the nation – as well as many of the local pro-life groups and pregnancy resource centers.

So come January, with the national March for Life in Washington, DC and the West Coast Walk for Life in San Francisco, CA happening within days of each other as well as many480226589
other pro-life events, SFLA staff members are busy speaking at many of these great rallies and marches around the country.

I am even going to be speaking on the main stage at the March for Life in Washington, DC! To see a comprehensive list of all March for Life-related events starting next week, go here: http://studentsforlife.org/2015-march-for-life-week-schedule-2/.

Here’s where you can find our staff this January:

Kristan Hawkins, President
January 21: March for Life Conference, Culture of Life Seminar, Washington, DC
January 21: OneVoiceDC, Washington, DC
January 22: March for Life main stage, Washington, DC
January 23: Students for Life East Coast National Conference, Washington, DC
January 25: Students for Life West Coast National Conference, San Francisco, CA

Casey Tesauro, National College Program Coordinator
January 17: OneLifeLA, Los Angeles, CA

Lisa Atkins, Northwest Regional Coordinator
January 10: The Washington State March For Life Info session, Olympia, WA
January 18: Portland Walk For Life, Portland, OR
January 18: Portland Walk For life Youth Rally, Portland, OR

Angela Erickson, Northern Regional Coordinator
January 17: Youth Conference at the Midwest March for Life, Des Moines, IA

Lauren Castillo, Rocky Mountain Regional Coordinator
January 17: Denver March for Life, Denver, CO

Alejandro Capote, Kentucky/Tennessee Regional Coordinator
January 10: Rosary for Life, Knoxville, TN
January 18: Vigil for Life, Lexington, KY

Michele Hendrickson, Capitol Area Regional Coordinator
January 18: The 23rd Annual Pro-Life Kickoff Rally hosted by the Hosted by Knights of Columbus Father Rosensteel Council #2169, Silver Spring, MD
January 18: Church of the Good Shepard Youth Rally, Catonsville, MD

How to Properly Dress for the March

by Missy Martinez, National High School Coordinator

Being from lower Alabama, I had my fair share of culture shock when I transplanted to the D.C. metro area. The pace is much faster, the tea is unsweet (no, I do not want to “sweeten it myself”), and I didn’t have to wave to everyone I saw. The first Sunday I attended church, I was shocked by the casual dress and the fact that guys took all the chairs in Sunday School and girls were sitting on the floor (gasp!) – true story.

But there was one thing I was completely unprepared for: WINTER.

In the South, we have “winter” but it’s more like a slightly chillier fall. It will get down to 20 degrees in the middle of the night (maybe). Sometimes, there’s ice. And rarely, there is snow. During my undergrad in the southern part of Mississippi, the entire school was shut down because it was sort of sleeting. It was more like a really really cold rain. Nonetheless, school was canceled and the town was deserted as everyone hid in their homes for safety. There are no such things as salt trucks (remember the Atlanta ice debacle last year), and more importantly, we do not own real winter clothes.

Why is this important? Because every year, come January 22, hundreds of thousands of people descend on Washington D.C. to march on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade in the bitter, wet cold, and the individuals, especially from the southern area of the U.S., are not adequately prepared. How do I know? Because I was that woefully unprepared individual two years ago.

The 2012 March for Life

The 2012 March for Life

Two years ago, I was more concerned with fashion than warmth. Most of my clothing was thin and from Target. It was not real, durable, water-proof clothing. And guess what… I was FREEZING. I spent the entire day being completely miserable and numb.

When you attend the March for Life, you have to be prepared to be outside for hours, in the cold, wet, snowy weather. I met multiple students last year (all from the same region) who were wearing flats, didn’t bring gloves, or just simple pea-coats. You will freeze to almost death and potentially get frostbite.

Last year, I threw fashion to the wind and went for warmth. I looked crazy but I was cozy. It was 10 degrees for the majority of the day with a wind-chill of zero. Yes, ZERO.

The 2014 March for Life

The 2014 March for Life

Here are a few tips when packing and planning for the March for Life.

  • Wear clothing that is waterproof – if it snows (or even rains), you will get wet. Your clothing will get wet and then you will be significantly colder
  • Wear clothing that is extremely thick, or lined – If you can find a down feather coat, or ski-jacket, that is best. A pea-coat or pleather jacket will not keep you warm.
  • Layer, Layer, Layer – Especially if the wind kicks up, you will be miserable. Find clothing that you can layer and put on as many as you can.

How to Dress –

Bottom half, layer:

  • Tights (preferably fleece lined),
  • Under armor or long johns
  • Wool socks (do not wear multiple pair. Invest is one pair of real smartwool socks or other socks made for cold weather
  • Jeans (no holes)
  • Snow pants (optional but recommended if it’s wet)
  • Thick, lined, waterproof boots with traction on the bottom. The taller, the better.

Top Half, layer:

  • Undershirt or cami
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Wool sweater or turtleneck
  • Sweatshirt or pull-over
  • Thick, lined, waterproof coat (the longer the better).
  • Heavy scarf (or two)
  • Wool hat or beanie
  • Gloves (not the cotton ones from Target. Real waterproof, lined, snowgloves)

When in doubt, wear more! You can always take layers off, but it’s always best to be prepared.

A few other tips –

  • Bring hand and foot warmers that you can put in your pockets. Activate them before you go outside and purchase them before you get to DC because once there, the hundreds of thousands of other pro-lifers will want to buy them as well at the one CVS closest to the March route.
  • Bring an external phone charger or extra battery. The cold will kill your phone battery in 5 minutes.
  • Find gloves that allow use of your cellphone without taking them off – you don’t want to expose bare skin for too long
  • Bring a light backpack with snacks and drinks
  • Use the restroom before you leave and as often as you can because most places will not let you inside to use the restroom.
  • Use public transportation and plan for things to take longer than expected. Remember, 600,000 more people are in the area than usual and it will be packed!

If you have any other questions regarding preparation for the March for Life of SFLA National Conferences, please contact info@studentsforlife.org.

mflgraphic

Registration for the 2013 National Conference Open Now!

Registration for the 2013 Students for Life of America National Conference is now OPEN. Last year’s conference sold out in mid-December, so make sure to register yourself and your group as early as possible this year.

For those who register and pay before December 31st, the cost will be $45 per student and $60 per adult. After December 31st, the cost will rise to $55 per student and $75 per adult. Tickets will include lunch and dinner.

This January marks the 40th year of legal abortion in our nation. This will be a sober but also an important time for all abortion abolitionists. Our generation must show up to Washington, D.C. to show the world that we will abolish abortion in our lifetime.

The SFLA National Conference is the premier pro-life conference in America. With dozens of speakers ranging in topics from bio-ethics to theology of the body, there is something for everyone, from the new pro-life group member to the experienced campus leader. This year, we are so pleased to have assembled an all-star lineup of professionals dedicated to training you in what you will need to be successful in your campus.

In addition, we will be offering tracks for high school and college students, special receptions for law and medical students, a pro-life job and internship fair. New for this year we are hosting the first ever Leadership Summit during the afternoon breakout workshops.  If you are the President or Vice President of your group you will not want to miss this summit and the specialized information that will be presented during the 3 hour workshop block.   Make sure to check the box when you register, if you are currently leading a pro-life group, and want to attend the Leadership Summit.

Please check out the agenda by clicking here and then register here now.

E-mail or call (571-379-7261) our office with any questions you may have in planning your journey to Washington and start registering before it’s too late!

 

A summer perspective on the March for Life

A summer perspective on the March for Life

By: Leslie Bosslet. Students for Life of America’s 2012 Missionary for Life

Media, where do you go every year in the 20’s of January? What portal do you slip through? Is there a really fun yearly journalism conference conveniently located far away from Washington, D.C. on the anniversary of Roe verses Wade?

Much like most pro-lifers, I am simply amazed by the lack of media coverage of the annual March for Life, which takes place in Washington, D.C. to protest the legality of abortion in our country. Actually, I take my first statement back. I was amazed, but now I am utterly baffled. I am spending the summer interning in the D.C. area, and I visit locations I had been with a large group of my closest 30 or 40 college friends while on the March. I see these places now during the days of summer and experience flashbacks to those incredibly packed-with-people days of January.

After researching, I cannot provide an accurately-cited number of attendees at the 2012 March. Why? My guess is that there was not enough media coverage, and there were such large numbers it is difficult to get an official count. I have heard rumors of up to 500,000, but 400,000 is what I am finding on various sources.  Is that not a significant enough chunk of people to merit some kind of coverage from the mainstream media other than blogs and pro-life online news sites?

Last week a few of my fellow interns and I stopped in Union Station to grab a bite to eat and to catch the Metro. I laughed at myself when I pictured the hundreds, if not thousands of March for Lifers who swarmed the place last January. I recall walking inside the building to warm up after I had finished the March, and it was difficult to navigate because of the volumes pro-lifers present. Many were standing in long lines to purchase food, too many were eating or taking a rest on the floor because there were not enough seats to hold everyone, and the lines for restrooms were up to half-an-hour long.

Wouldn’t that be a fun article to write? “Thousands of hungry anti-abortionists invade Union Station and Metro platforms all over the city” could be a (lengthy) headline. As a current daily Metro rider, I chuckle at the thought of trying to get to work with pro-life protestors in the way. So another headline, “Anti-choice protestors, inexperienced with public transit, annoy native Metro riders” may even suffice. However, most journalists seem to miss even that opportunity to negatively document the protest

A good friend of mine, also an intern, recalled seeing in one of the Capitol buildings a large tribute to the Civil Rights movement. The March on Washington in 1963 was demonstrated by somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 civil rights activists. She remembers seeing pictures and descriptions of this day on this particular display. And this should be celebrated! What an amazing feat to gather such large numbers of people to show the world they deserve equal rights.

As mentioned above, the March for Life now features roughly 400,000 pro-life activists, and the numbers have been growing since the first March, which will be 40 years ago this coming January. The unborn cannot march for themselves, so we do it for them. And they deserve media coverage. There are numerous wonderful pro-life organizations, but do we need to form a “Journalists for Life” or a “Media for Life” in order to provide coverage of this incredibly well-attended yearly protest to show the world how many people care for this cause? I want it to be shown in places where people do not have to Google it or stumble upon Facebook statuses about it. Coverage needs to be in the nightly news and on the front pages of newspapers so that one does not have a choice but to see the impact this pro-life generation will have on the future of abortion.

Note: This article was partly inspired by one of my favorite Bad Catholic blog posts. It may upstage mine but it is too well-done not to share. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/badcatholic/2012/01/media-stupidity-at-the-march-for-life.html

Works Consulted: