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April 2020 

2020 Awards Banquet: 
Honoring Today's Heroes and Shaping Tomorrow's

       by: Sree Sowmya Gudapati, a junior at Rocklin High School 

    “Freedom is never more than one generation from extinction.” This quote by Ronald Reagan shines light on the importance of the three-part mission of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge; To Educate about American rights and responsibilities, Honor acts of civic virtue, and Challenge all to get involved. This mission was summed up perfectly by key-note speaker John McGinness February 29 at the annual Awards Banquet  in the Timber Creek Ballroom.  A record attendance of over 300 gathered to honor local heroes in the Sacramento area. 

    The awards honored local heroes, upstanding members of society that changed the world for the better in ways both big and small. From worldwide non-profit organizations to being an outstanding member of the community. Local Hero Awards were presented to Bob Bryce for his volunteer service in the community and Diane Nichols from her Kindred Spirits Fawn Rescue Program. The prized George Washington Honor medals were presented to Donna Eckwortzel and Karen Wilkes. Donna runs the Hearts Landing Ranch program which restores and rejuvenates the lives of both children and horses and Karen founded the Days for Girls program, which has helped the lives of hundreds of girls around the world. These heroes were honored alongside Ryan Peterson from Hiram Johnson High School who was awarded the teacher of the year award.

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Ryan Peterson - Teacher of the Year

by: Sidney Fife, a junior at Inspire Charter Academy

    Over its many years Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge has worked with countless teachers in accomplishing amazing things for students. This year was the first time the Sacramento Chapter of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge has recognized one of these great teachers.

        The Sacramento Chapter named Ryan Peterson its first Teacher of the Year at their awards banquet on February 29th. Ryan is a 20 year veteran of the Air Force, and currently teaches Air Force Junior ROTC at Hiram Johnson High School in Sacramento, CA. 

    Ryan loves teaching and working with the students at Hiram W. Johnson. He has also been the school’s coach for Varsity Women’s soccer, Varsity men’s and Women’s Golf teams for the past four years. One of his students, Dorothy Jimenez, said, “He is really dedicated to his students, he goes out of his way to help any student in need whether they are ROTC related or not, such as our soccer team”.  Ryan thrives as a teacher and is always helping and encouraging his students
to reach their full potentials.

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Spirit of America 2020:
A Students Perspective 

by: Emilie Harris, a junior at John Adams Academy


      Recently I learned that there are many ways that students can learn about what it means to be both a good leader and an involved citizen. More importantly, it is more meaningful to have students step outside of a school classroom to gain these skills. At the Spirit of America Youth Leadership Program, students not only are given historical tours surrounding the Freedom Foundation’s beautiful campus at Valley Forge, but they also receive the tools needed to develop leadership skills and learn what our founding fathers’ vision was of what it means to be an American citizen.

     This year, the Sacramento Freedoms Foundation Chapter sponsored 90 students, mainly Juniors, to go on a four-day conference to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. There, high schoolers participate in workshops and engaging lectures that will deepen their understanding of the Constitution, the free enterprise system, and our civil rights and responsibilities. 

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by Joy Malak, a junior at Rocklin High School 

A Decade of Growth 
President's Report 

by: Larry Brasher 

The past decade has been one of remarkable growth for the Sacramento Chapter of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.  Allow me to briefly review some of our accomplishments in each area of our mission to:


EDUCATE about American Rights and Responsibilities

 431 students from 40 local high schools have been sponsored to participate in the Spirit of America Youth Leadership Program at Freedoms Foundation’s campus in Valley Forge, PA.

 37 teachers from local schools have participated in Freedoms Foundation’s summer continuing education programs.

Over 550 students have submitted essays in our chapter and national essay contests. 


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Please support our programs!

In this time of national crisis arising from the COVID-19 pandemic many individuals and organizations are experiencing unprecedented conditions In order to comply with the restrictions placed on social interaction we have postponed our annual golf tournament until Oct. 23. This postponement of our major fund-raising event of the year has put us in need of additional funding.  Please consider making a donation to support us in our mission. Thank you.
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Student Published Newsletter 

This Newsletter was made with the help and participation of several students who attended the Spirit of America program recently and now are a part of the Sacramento chapter of Freedoms Foundation's Newsletter committee. 
The Students who participated include: Sree Sowmya Gudapati, Sidney Fife, Joy Malak and Emilie Harris. 
These students did a great job on our first newsletter, I am grateful for their work, and I look forward to continue working with them. 
- Megan Johnston (Newsletter Editor)
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