Collegiate Essay Contest
Investigative Journalism Contest
Outstanding Teacher Contest
Entrepreneur Program
Collegiate Debates
DVD Lending Library
Youth Citizenship Seminar
Student Citizenship Program
Educational Resources

Board of Trustees

President & Chairman of the Board
Robert J. Barbera
Barbera Property Management

Vice Presidents
Norman Sarafian
Sr. Vice President
RBC Wealth Management

Mark E. Montgomery
Montgomery Management Co.

Richard A. Schiendler
CLU, CHFC, Tax & Financal Group

Gideon Lowe, III, MD


Brad Boeckmann
Vice President, Galpin Motors

H.F. "Bert" Boeckmann, II
President, Galpin Motors

Pat Boone
President, Pat Boone Enterprises

Brian T. Kennedy
President, The Claremont Institute

Ken Petersen
CLU, CHFC, Tax & Financial Group

Dr. Charles B. Runnels
Chancellor, Pepperdine University

Robert Anderson Schoepe
President, Fluidmaster, Inc.

John Sinner
State Farm Insurance

J. Paul Thomassen, M.D.

Michael Y. Warder
Vice Chancellor, Pepperdine University

Chairman Emeritus

Stephen R. Knott
Knott's Berry Farm (ret.)

President Emeritus

Carter Sharp


Dr. Larry Arnn
President, Hillsdale College

Dr. Michael McLean
President, Thomas Aquinas College

Dominic Pulera

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Mission Statement

The Americanism Educational Leaders' mission is to educate America's young people about the moral, political, social and economic values that made America free and strong.

AEL is committed to instilling in our students the core principles that guided America's Founding Fathers in the establishment of the Republic.

Through our resource material AEL promotes significant and permanent reduction in the size and power of government while encouraging our youth to exercise the freedoms that lead to entrepreneurship and personal initiative. We encourage students to act with integrity; to be respectful and tolerant of individual differences; and to denounce destructive, negative influences which tarnish the noble aspirations of those who made America great.


AEL believes in "American exceptionalism", i.e. that our country is exceptional in the history of the world. All of our programs are meant to encourage students to learn about, understand and appreciate some aspect of the American experience. Educating our youth about basic American values, history and institutions is the best way to protect the American dream for all of our people.

Case Statement

We believe educating our youth about basic American values, history, and institutions is the best way to protect the American dream for all of our people.

To continue to make this critical impact on the coming generations, we need to look for students who have an attitude of leadership. It will be the kind of student that can present himself or herself with adequate speaking ability and writing ability to promote the traditions of Americanism. While many students are capable of going through our college system, we wish to screen our awards' programs for leadership.

It is necessary for the next generation of leaders to be of high moral character, honest, and of clear intention. In our political structure there is constant need for appeasement to gain power. We wish the leaders of the future to behave as statesmen, leading to the best possible solution for the concerns of government. We also wish to have our leaders value entrepreneurship and free enterprise providing rewards for individual productions.

Americanism Educational Leaders has designed an award system to find these kinds of leadership qualities and to promote their future. This is done through student essay contests, youth seminars, debate programs, and teacher awards.

All fundraising is specifically used to carry out this mission while providing recognition to the sponsors.

There are far more qualified leadership possibilities out there than our current funds allow us to recognize. Our passion and dedication are in place, but to make a more noticeable impact we would like to double our awards' values and perhaps expand the number of winners.


AEL Founder Walter Knott with wife Cordelia being honored by 40th President Rondald Reagan & Cinema Screen Legend John Wayne
(AEL Founder, Walter Knott with wife Cordelia being honored by 40th President Rondald Reagan & Cinema Screen Legend John Wayne)

Since its founding in 1927 AEL has dedicated its efforts to informing and educating all citizens, but especially students, about the liberties and responsibilities that are their birthright as Americans. Through the encouragement and annual support of its donors and friends, AEL has distributed educational materials, videos, and cash-award programs to millions of students and thousands of schools at all levels throughout the country.

The 21st century finds AEL with more programs serving more students than ever in our history. We have no intention of slacking off.

Copyright © 2015 Americanism Educational Leaders. All rights reserved.