Recently, Heather Wolf spoke on a panel: “The Campaign School at Yale: The Basics.” Selected as a student in the Class of 2019 for The Campaign School at Yale (TCSYale), Patti Russo, Executive Director of TCSYale asked Heather to speak on the panel about her 2019 TCSYale experience.
Here is a summary of Heather’s remarks on the application process and the program itself:
In 2019, Heather knew The Campaign School at Yale was an opportunity of a lifetime. She needed to stand out from the 1,500 applicants for 80 spots in the class. The first part of the application was the essay. Heather put a vision board together of all of her life leadership experiences chronologically in order. Then she drafted and revised her story knowing she had to make every word count until she was thrilled with the final product and brought her essay to life.
The second part of the application to TCSYale is the recommendations. Heather had to set the bar high! She was selective about which like-minded people who were going to write recommendations for her and whose organizations would make TCSYale proud. So she selected three high-level people to write and submit recommendations, all of which champion Republican women and want to see her in elected office.
One evening, Heather was at home when she was reading her e-mail came and an titled, “CONGRATULATIONS!” came thorough in her inbox. Dear Heather, Congratulations! You have been accepted to TCSYale Class of 2019. Immediately, she was absolutely elated! Her dream came true and then she thought to herself, “How am I going to pay for school?”
Next, Heather picked herself up and bootstrapped, used her national political network on Linkedin and set up a GoFundMe page using her essay. She was getting donations from her Bush-Cheney Administration colleagues, D.C. donor class and Pennsylvania Republican elected officials and committeemen. All together, Heather had a total of 70 donors. Heather was learning the art of political fundraising on the spot before she was taught fundraising at Yale. Follow-up was absolutely crucial on the donations. She wrote 70 thank you cards to her donors on her own stationary. She was starting to see her network come full circle.
At TCSYale, housed at the prestigious Yale Law School, Heather was introduced to the best Democrat and Republican women vendors in the nation. Her network increased exponentially. She quickly learned TCSYale was more of a sisterhood for life. There were panels and presentations for communications, fundraising, finance, scheduling, polling, speech coaching, presentation styles, social media, and a case study. There was plenty of time to network and trade business cards. The case study pulls everything we learned during the week and presents it to a panel of high-level judges at the end of TCSYale.
Looking to create your own GoFund me pitch to powerup a TCSYale application?
Here’s what worked for Heather’s successful GoFundMe story:
“On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was in my college education psychology class and the tv was on in front of the classroom. Breaking news came across the screen when sudden violence struck and nearly three thousand innocent men, women, and children lost their lives in attacks meant to terrorize our Nation.
Amid shattered glass, twisted steel, and clouds of dust, the spirit of America shone through. I remember the sacrifice of strangers and first responders who rushed into darkness to carry others from danger. I remember the unbreakable bonds of unity we felt in the long days that followed -- how we held each other, how we came to our neighbors' aid, how we prayed for one another. It was that moment I went from being an education major to a political science major and started serving a higher calling than self. From that moment, I felt an even stronger calling to serve the public.
In 2004, I volunteered on the Bush-Cheney campaign and in 2005 was awarded a coveted spot as a White House intern, and upon graduating college I landed a political appointment in the Bush White House. At the White House, I was blessed to be surrounded by a work family where people with diverse ideas can find the best in the ideas of others and move forward. I am empathetic towards other leaders by understanding where each is coming from with life experiences. And that my friends is how I lived the American dream and I am announcing my candidacy.
And now I have been accepted as a candidate for The Campaign School at Yale.
If you are a woman interested in running for elected office, Heather highly recommends attending the upcoming 2021 Summer Session at The Campaign School at Yale!
You can follow Heather on Twitter: @heatherswolf