Young America’s Foundation’s August High School Conference at the Reagan Ranch

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Young America’s Foundation’s August High School Conference at the Reagan Ranch

August 10 to 12, 2017

When should I arrive?
You should arrive during the afternoon on Thursday, August 10, and check in at the Reagan Ranch Center. Registration will begin starting at 2:00 p.m. This is where you will receive your hotel assignment.  Room keys will be available at the hotels at 3:00 p.m., but students can peruse the Exhibit Galleries at the Reagan Ranch Center if they arrive before then. Students will be assigned to a room at one of two conference hotels, the Avania Inn or the Mason Beach Inn.  Shuttle vans will be available from Santa Barbara airport, escorted by a member of our staff (see below).
What time does the conference end?
The conference ends Saturday, August 12 at 5:00 p.m.  We recommend flights depart on Saturday night, August 12 after 6:30 p.m.  Shuttles to the airport will operate starting at about 5:30 p.m. that day.  We do not provide a hotel room for Saturday night, so you will need to make your own accommodations if you need to stay Saturday night, or call us and we may be able to help.   
Is tuition assistance available?
Tuition assistance may be available on a case-by-case basis for those with financial need.  If you have financial need, please email a brief essay (no more than a page) to Jolie Ballantyne at with some language regarding your financial need and what you hope to gain by attending the conference.  We cannot consider your request until we receive this essay.
Is travel assistance available?
While Travel assistance is never guaranteed, Young America’s Foundation will gladly consider all completed requests.
Travel assistance may be available on a case-by-case basis for those with financial need. If you have financial need, please email a brief essay (no more than a page) to that includes:

  • Language regarding your financial need

  • What you hope to gain by attending the conference

  • Your travel plans

  • The expected amount of your travel plans and the amount you are requesting. (For example, Expected travel costs from IAD to SBA $500. I am requesting $200 in assistance.)

We will not consider your request until we receive this completed essay. Travel assistance essays are due July 27, 2017. 

Can I sponsor a student to attend this program?
Yes!  Your generous tax-deductible gift of $2,000 will allow Young America's Foundation to host a student at this program who could not otherwise attend.  You can designate a specific student you know to attend, or sponsor a student who is receiving free tuition as a result of financial need.  For more information about these and other sponsorship opportunities, please contact Young America's Foundation development officer Haley Jones at or call 888-USA-1776.              
To which airport do I fly?
You should fly to Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) if possible, or you can arrive at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and take a 2-hour bus to Santa Barbara through the Santa Barbara Airbus (Please for more information) Another option is to fly to Burbank airport and take the Amtrak train to Santa Barbara, but this option will add several hours to your arrival.    
How will I get to and from the airport and the conference?
Students will be picked up by a Young America’s Foundation staff member (with a sign) just outside the baggage claim area on the curb and will be taken in a shuttle bus to the Reagan Ranch Center.  The specific times of these shuttles will be determined once students submit their travel information forms about two weeks before the conference, but they will run on Thursday afternoon, August 10 and Saturday night, August 12.  You may have to wait in the airport for the next shuttle to arrive.  We will not be able to accommodate you if you arrive or depart at other times.      
Can I take the bus?
Yes, Greyhound has buses to downtown Santa Barbara, but they are not within walking distance of the Reagan Ranch Center or the hotels.  You can take a taxi to the Reagan Ranch Center from the bus stop.  Please visit for more information on this option.
Can I take the train?
Yes, Amtrak runs trains through Santa Barbara on its Pacific Surfliner route, which spans from San Diego to San Luis Obispo.  The train station is located right in front of the Reagan Ranch Center and is a short walk to the hotels.  Please visit for more information on this option.
Will there be supervision during the weekend?
Yes, students will be supervised by several staff members who will be chaperones, and stay in the same hotels, for the whole event.  Students are expected to behave appropriately or will have to leave the conference at their parents’ expense.  Parents need to sign the waiver form and responsibility pledge that will be sent to students prior to the event.       
Will students have free time during the conference?
No, because the event is only two days long.  If you wish to tour Santa Barbara, please make your own plans to arrive on Wednesday night or stay through Saturday night and Sunday.  Young America’s Foundation only covers your hotel room on Thursday and Friday nights, and you will check out on Saturday morning before the sessions.  A luggage storage room will be provided.      
Are parents and family members invited to attend the program?
Parents and grandparents are invited to the opening dinner banquet on Thursday, August 10 at the Reagan Ranch Center and to other portions of the program.  Further details will be mailed to students and parents in the weeks preceding the conference.
What does the conference fee include?
The conference fee ($100 if you apply by July 10, $175 after the early-bird deadline) includes two nights at a Santa Barbara hotel, conference tuition, materials, and meals from Thursday dinner through Saturday lunch.      
What is the dress code for this conference?
Dress for the opening dinner banquet will be business professional.  This means a suit for the gentlemen and a suit or dress for the ladies. Jeans, shorts, and t-shirts are not acceptable attire.
Dress for Friday m the trip up to the Ranch is casual, but respectful.  Please pack warm, layered clothes and bring a jacket as it tends to get cold up on the mountain.  Jeans are acceptable as long as there are no holes or tears. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes
Dress for Friday’s dinner banquet and Saturday’s sessions in business casual. This means slacks, polo shirts or button-up shirts, sweaters, etc.  Jeans, shorts, and t-shirts are not acceptable attire.  
***The Reagan Ranch Center is about a 10-minute walk from the hotels, so ladies who wear high heels may want to consider wearing commuter-friendly shoes for the walks and then slipping into heels upon arriving at the Center.***
What are the activities during the conference?
Thursday night will feature the opening banquet, to which parents and grandparents are invited.  Friday will feature speakers and question-and-answer sessions, a luncheon, and an evening dinner banquet.  Saturday features more speakers and question-and-answer sessions in the morning, and a trip up to and tour of the Reagan Ranch and luncheon. Students will receive a detailed agenda via email prior to the conference.
What are the living arrangements?
Students will have one or two roommates of the same sex for Thursday and Friday night at the conference hotels.  The registration form contains a blank in which you can request a roommate, and we will do our best to accommodate your requests.       
What are the terms and conditions of the conference?
a) I understand that I am applying for a limited amount of space at this conference and that my application is subject to confirmation.  I will be notified within two weeks of submitting my application whether I have been accepted to the conference.  In the event I have not been accepted, my charge will be refunded by a check mailed to the address provided when I registered.   
b) I must attend all sessions of the High School Conference at the Reagan Ranch. If I do not attend all functions, I will be charged the full cost of the conference and/or event(s), including the hotel, food, and conference costs, which total $2,000 per attendee.   
c) Except in case of emergency, I must notify Young America’s Foundation by August 3, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. EST of my inability to attend, or I will be charged the supplemental fee since it is too late to give my spot to another student.
d) I understand that the conference fee is not refundable if I cancel my participation after August 3, 2017.  
e) I understand I will be assigned roommates for the conference. I may request preferred roommates of the same sex, but there is a chance I may not be able to room with them.  
f) I agree to abide by all rules and instructions of Young America’s Foundation and to obey all laws.  I agree to notify Young America’s Foundation’s staff immediately if a problem arises during the conference.  
g) I understand that YAF will be adding my email address to it’s email list for updates for this conference and notifications of future events.
h) Young America's Foundation uses real photos, videos, and quotes from students for promotional purposes and to advance its mission. By attending this program, I consent to the use of my photo, written evaluation statements, and video in any Young America's Foundation materials.

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