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Friday, March 8, 2013

Why Should a College Student Attend the NRL Academy?

Why should a college student take five weeks of their summer to go to the NRL Academy?

We asked this question to the four North Carolina graduates of the Academy, and here’s what they told us!

Andrew Votipka, a 2010 graduate, has reason to be grateful for his time at the Academy. Not only did he get an amazing pro-life education, he also met his wife Natalie there! Andrew describes the Academy as “much more than an internship.” “If you could have learned from the leaders of the abolitionist movement, would you?” he asks. “Well the teachers at the Academy are quite literally the founders and current leaders in the right to life movement!”

Andrew has used his Academy education to promote a culture of life at UNC-CH, campaign for pro-life candidates, lobby, and volunteer whenever possible. Natalie works for New York State Right to Life, where Andrew also volunteers. They are pleased to announce that they are expecting their first baby soon. Congratulations, Andrew and Natalie!

Christina Geradts, Class of 2011, praises the Academy’s curriculum and says “It prepares you for real-life conversations you may have.” She notes that the oral practicum sessions, which require the student to mock lobby, debate, and give speeches on the issues, are especially helpful for this. “After the Academy, I’ve definitely been more confident speaking out on pro-life issues . . . . Additionally, I have people I can contact for help with these issues as well.”

After the Academy, Christina served as president of UNC-CH’s Students for Life group. She now teaches high school English in Raleigh and helps coordinate the school’s pro-life activities.

Teresa Pincus and Sarah Urdzik attended the Academy in 2012. Sarah, a UNC-CH student, and Teresa, an NC State student, had mutual acquaintances but didn’t know each other before meeting at the Academy. Like many other Academy graduates, they are grateful for the friendships they made at the Academy and the support network these friendships provide. Teresa also calls the knowledge she gained “priceless,” and Sarah agrees, adding, “More importantly, I learned how to effectively implement that knowledge by practicing lobbying, debating, and giving speeches. I still use these important skills in discussions today.”

Both young women are the presidents of their university Students for Life groups, and they note how the Academy has helped them more effectively lead their organizations. Teresa has started sidewalk counseling at a nearby abortion facility, noting that the Academy “renewed my enthusiasm to protect the vulnerable among us.”

Andrew, Christina, Sarah, and Teresa all enthusiastically recommend the Academy to college students who are interested in becoming effective pro-life leaders. As their experiences illustrate, an Academy education equips young people to become valuable assets to their state and local Right to Life organizations, inspires them to be more actively involved, and ensures a future for the pro-life movement.

For more information about the Academy, visit

To apply for the North Carolina Scholarship for Life, visit

Hurry, the application deadline ends soon! 

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