We’re excited to introduce you to Domine Clemons, a member of our Emerging Leaders Advisory Council (ELAC). She is a senior at Hillsdale College studying Economics and classical voice. She has interned for Florida Citizens Alliance. She also interned in Washington D.C. at the Department of Education in the Office of the Secretary, Betsy DeVos.
You can view Domine’s recent blog post, “Riots Put Innocent People at Risk,” here. Get to know Domine a little more in this Q&A! See all of our ELAC members here.
What do you care most about and why?
I care about education. For the past 3 years, I have dedicated my focus to researching the past 50 years of education reform in America because I believe that education is the foundation of society. I now work for a non-profit organization based in Southwest Florida, called Florida Citizens Alliance. Our mission is to promote alternatives to public school for parents by helping them get access to scholarships and vouchers. We also played a big role in ridding Florida of Common Core. I care about helping students find the best school that will enable them to reach their fullest potential. I care about all of this because I am a product of the public school system, and I saw first hand how politicized our American public schools are. A whole generation has been taught that socialism is fair and capitalism is evil. The political agenda was clear in every class subject, essay prompt, and district-made test. I have come to realize that this was not special to my location, but is going on in every public school across America. Because of my experience, I am determined to educate parents on this pressing issue and promote alternatives to public schools.
Why are you a conservative? What drew you to it?
I was raised in a household where everything from eating habits to moral codes were carefully examined for the purpose of discovering the truth of reality in pursuit of living an honorable and meaningful life in a natural and joyful way. However, I did not come into my own personal beliefs until college. By receiving a liberal arts education at Hillsdale College and reading primary sources, rather than another’s opinion of history and politics as typical public schools do, I was able to come to the conclusion that conservatism aligns with my beliefs about human nature and morality. Moreover, after examining the alternatives to conservatism, the negative consequences thereof make them very unattractive to me.
What role models, thinkers, writers, leaders do you like and why?
I am most inspired by Candice Owens. I remember the first time I heard her speak at a Turning Point USA Conference and I was brought to tears. Her ability to speak not only the truth, but the hard truth that most people are terrified to speak inspired me to pursue my work. Owens is focused on unveiling the root of many problems we are seeing in America today. I had never heard anyone speak with such courage and she inspires me everyday to stand up for my beliefs, no matter how hard it gets.
What made you want to join ELAC?
Last summer, I attended the Summer Conference in Steamboat, CO, with little previous knowledge of the organization. I was very impressed by the way each talk presented both arguments of controversial subjects, by bringing in expert speakers from both sides of the aisle. I believe that the best way to understand our own beliefs is by engaging in healthy debate and letting all sides present their opinion. After the conference, I knew that I wanted to get more involved with them. I also met so many inspiring students and young professionals and couldn’t help but jump on the opportunity to stay connected with them through the Emerging Leaders Program.
What are 1-2 goals you have in the next 5-10 years?
In the next 5-10 years, I plan to write a book on education after gaining more experience through my job. I would also like to help other states pull out of Common Core by clearly laying out the way in which Florida got rid of the failed standards. Besides these goals, I trust that God will lead me and I am open to what he has in store.