Meet AFC’s Young Alumni Speakers!

At this year’s annual National Policy Summit held in Indianapolis, we introduced our inaugural group of Young Alumni Speakers. While they may differ in many ways, our speakers have one very important thing in common: the trajectory of their lives were changed for the better when they had the opportunity to attend the learning environment that best fit their needs.

Receiving the opportunity to leave the school that they were assigned (based on their zip code and family income) and receive an education that fits their personal capabilities, desires, and individual needs, made all the difference. And in the coming months, they will tell their stories to parents, teachers, and legislators in their communities and across the country.

Their stories are important in helping to spread the message that school choice does indeed work. When it comes to helping students who were once like them understand the importance of a great education and relieve the fear of attending a new school, however, their stories become especially important.

You don’t have to wait to hear their stories. Watch Denisha Merriweather and Sandeep Thomas for a sneak peak of what you could hear! Be sure to keep reading for an overview of the program and for information on how you could bring one of our Young Alumni Speakers to your organization.

The American Federation for Children Young Alumni Network is an effort to recruit young adults who received vouchers or opportunity scholarships, tax credit scholarships, education savings accounts, or attended public charter schools, or participated in online and blended learning programs at any time during grades K-12. The purpose of this network is for program alumni to share their positive stories with state policymakers, school choice advocates, parents, and the media to ultimately give more children the opportunity to participate in these programs across the country.

Thousands of school choice program alumni are excelling in post-secondary education or starting their professional careers, and can attribute some of their success to their parents’ or guardians’ opportunity to choose the best school for their needs. We are looking for alumni willing to speak to audiences about the positive impact of educational choice in their lives.

AFC will provide to speakers:

  • Public speaking preparation training
  • Opportunity to travel and reimbursement for all travel expenses
  • A briefing for each event
  • And, work directly with you to coordinate the event schedule

Examples of speaking opportunities include:

  • Community gatherings of parents and activists
  • Panel discussions at education reform conferences
  • A rally or larger event at a state capitol
  • Testifying to a State House or State Senate committee
  • Interviews with the media


  • Free public speaking and media training
  • Opportunities to communicate directly with state policymakers
  • Protect and expand school choice programs so other children can benefit
  • Help parents, and children just like you, understand the value of these programs
  • And potentially, change a child’s life for the better.

For more information on the program and to schedule a Young Alumni Speaker for your organization or event, contact Jana Gregg at