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Young Activist Scholarship

What is the Young Activist Scholarship Fund?

Biker “Freedom Fighting” activists have recognized for some time that our membership and leaders are aging, and that there is a need to encourage younger people to become involved in motorcyclists' rights. To that end, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation Awareness and Education (MRFA&E) has created a scholarship fund to recognize deserving candidates who are a minimum of 18 years old and not over 30 years of age who otherwise may not be able to attend the MRF's Meeting of the Minds conference.

The MRFA&E has dedicated a limited amount of seed money to the scholarship fund to get things rolling. The MRFA&E is looking for additional contributions from individuals, national, state and local organizations and businesses that would like to participate in the program. Click here to make an on-line contribution to the MRFA&E Young Activist Scholarship Fund. Checks made out to the MRFA&E Young Activist Scholarship Fund can be sent to: MRFA&E Young Activist Scholarship Fund, 236 Massachusetts Ave. NE Suite 510, Washington, DC 20002.

Since 2004, the MRFA&E Young Activist Scholarship is a successful program to activate our youth into defending biker rights for the future. The program started with the MRFA&E donating $750.00 the first year to get it rolling and generous donations from MRF members. The first year the MRFA&E could afford to send one candidate and the second year this program doubled to two winning candidates with larger donations. Our third year we doubled the winning candidates to four. Individuals, National, State, and Local Organizations and Businesses are encouraged to continue their donations so we can grow this program even more for the future. Grants are being explored as a way to fund this but it still is a ways down the pike.

Nominations will be accepted from either state or local SMRO groups, and must be submitted on the MRFA&E-approved application form below.

Candidate Criteria:

1) Nominated candidates must be between the ages of 18 and 30 with a valid Motorcycle Endorsement on their Drivers License. 31st Birthday must fall after Meeting Of The Minds for that year.

2) Candidates must be a member in good standing of a State Motorcyclists' Rights Organization (SMRO). Length of membership required in SMRO to be determined by its members if candidate is qualified.

3) Candidates must be nominated by their SMRO. Nominations will be accepted from either state or local (District / Chapter / Local) SRMO groups, and must be submitted on an MRFA&E approved application form.

4) Nominations must be submitted between October 1st and July 15th and postmarked no later than July 1st of the year for which the application is submitted.

5) Candidates are to submit a minimum three hundred (300)-word essay on why biker's rights are important to them. A well written essay from the heart is like a picture or blueprint of who the candidate is; coming directly from the candidate, this gives the committee members a better perspective of the individual. Include the essay with the MRFA&E YAS Application Form.

Winning candidates will be announced via an MRF E-mail News Release on or about August 15th. All candidates will be notified with a letter of thanks and encouragement to re-submit their candidacy for the next year if they are not the selected winner.  

What Do Winning Candidates Receive?

  • One-year membership to the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, effective the first full day of the Meeting of the Minds during the year in question.
  • Round-trip airfare to the MRF's Meeting of the Minds conference, or alternate travel expenses so long as those expenses in total do not exceed the cost of traveling by air. If an alternative mode of transportation is chosen, candidates will be required to provide receipts in order to be reimbursed (receipts will be accepted for tickets on other modes of transportation, hotel accommodations, gasoline and food purchased while traveling to and from the Meeting of the Minds conference). If there is any question about acceptable travel expenses, it is the responsibility of the candidate to check with the MRFA&E prior to incurring said expenses.
  • Hotel accommodations at the Meeting of the Minds conference. Accommodations will include the hotel room only. Telephone, food, movie rentals, etc. will be the sole responsibility of winning candidates.
  • Meeting of the Minds conference registration and banquet fees waived.
  • Special recognition at the MRF's Meeting of the Minds conference. Said recognition will include a plaque, presentation of one-year membership, and other items or activities as approved by the MRFA&E Board of Directors.

Download the Young Activist Nomination form here.

Questions about the MRFA&E Young Activist Scholarship Fund should be directed to MRFA&E Scholarship Committee Chair Carol Downs at

Past Winners

2013 YAS Winner
2013 - Tim McCall

2012 - Kevin Finnegan and Rachel Zell

2011 - Charity Stuart

2010 - Katie Gross, Jeremiah "Sheepdog" Parent and Lorie Butler

2009 - Jonathan Propson from WI and Ben Vincent from AR

2008 - Jeramie Barrett - IA, Mike Salathe - SD, Matt Huls - SD

2007 - John Thomas "J.T." Boone - President, Raleigh Chapter, CBA/ABATE of NC. Sunrise "Sonny" L. Pitsch - ABATE of Wisconsin, St. Croix Valley Riders. Molly Su "Monsoon" Van Daele, District 15, ABATE of Iowa

2006 - Shawn Dickie of ABATE of Alaska, Aaron Meyer of ABATE of Indiana, Justin Crawford (The Kid) of ICMS (Idaho Coalition for Motorcycle Safety) and David Duffy of ABATE of Iowa.

2005 - Robert Cuthbertson of ABATE of California and Jennifer Lynn Basden of ABATE of South Carolina

2004 - Crystal Maney of CBA/ABATE of North Carolina

Words from Past Winners

  • My name is Jeramie Barrett I was one of the three Y.A.S. winners from 2008. I applied for the Y.A.S. because of my previous M.O.T.M. experience at Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 2007. That was my first full emersion into the world of motorcycle politics, and I simply had to have more. I was not going to be able to make the trip to Denver without it. So from that point of view this program is wonderful. I suggest that anyone that meets the qualifications for this program should go for this, and if you do not qualify but know
    someone who does, tell them about it. If you care about motorcycles and motorcycle rights this is a great opportunity to get into the mix. Just remember that you will get put on the stage and on the spot to answer some questions.
    Jeramie Barrett
  • The reason I applied for the YAS is quite simple.....I was asked to. I was interested in going to MOTM anyway and was unaware of the YAS untill that point. I didn't think twice, I figured the worst that could happen was that I wouldn't be selected and I would end up going anyway. The scholarship definatly made it easier though! After Heartland Steam I was really looking forward to MOTM. I was very impressed to find out the extent of our influence on the gov., I didn't realize we had the resources. And the I guess the biggest thing that I'll take back from MOTM is that every individual counts when it comes to preserving our rights. I aslo found out that MOTM isnt so much about the breakouts as it is about the time around them when people get to gether casually and talk about methods that work or even more important about the ones that didn't work for starting or stopping ledgislation. And as far as fun goes the it's a bit of a toss up between watching people try to out bid each other at the auction or the Kilts-VS-Bibs tug-a-war. I think the tug-a-war wins though and I hope we have it again this year because I'm buying a kilt!! There's way too much that a person can take from the MOTM to even try to write down. I do know this though I'm hooked and so are my friend s that came for the first time with me. I never thought that an organization could be adictive but this one sure is.
    Mike Salathe
    S.D. A.B.A.T.E.
    Shadow Riders Chapter State Rep.

















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