Friends of FEE, meet Evan Buck of San Diego, California. He’s still in high school, but he’s a rocket on the launch pad.
Actually, I said that about him several months ago. It’s more accurate to say now that he’s taken off and is well on his way to achieving great things for liberty. It’s getting hard to keep up with him.
Evan’s story is the kind we especially appreciate and are eager to share. It demonstrates the value of putting good ideas in front of bright young people at an early age, and then encouraging their growth and interest. We’re proud to note that materials from FEE have played a major role in shaping Evan into a passionate advocate and champion debater.
At the age of 12, Evan was introduced by friends to some of the works of great authors long associated with FEE: Frederic Bastiat, Ludwig von Mises, and F. A. Hayek, among others. In 2010, he joined a local organization called im2moro, founded by FEE supporter Eric Andersen. The group’s regular readings include our magazine, The Freeman. Evan was asked to begin blogging for im2moro’s Web site in February 2012. He quickly honed his writing skills and is one of the very best teenage writers I know.
I first met Evan when im2moro brought me to San Diego to speak to an audience of about 400 people two-and-a-half years ago. He impressed me immediately as an exceptional young man, fired up to communicate the principles of liberty and free markets. “Evan, you’ve got to come to a FEE seminar next summer,” I urged him. And he did.
At a summer 2012 FEE seminar in Salt Lake City, Evan showed me some of his blog posts for im2moro. I was very impressed. Coincidentally (if not providentially), before the seminar was over, I received an email from a friend at the multimedia financial services firm, The Motley Fool, asking me if I knew of any good, young writers who might be interested in becoming paid bloggers. “I’ve got one right here at our seminar this week!” I remember telling him. In the year since Evan began blogging for The Motley Fool, all 42 of his submissions have been published. One, titled, “Three Reasons Why Best Buy Won’t Engineer a Turnaround,” was selected as an editor’s choice in December 2012.
Evan is a winner with the spoken word, too. He was First Place Tournament Champion at the 2013 extemporaneous competition at Concordia University. He was among the best at the 2013 National Invitational Tournament of Champions in Lincoln-Douglas Debate. In the five years he has been involved in competitive forensics, he has been part of the final round an astounding 25 times. He is currently ranked fourth in the nation in extemporaneous current events speech.
The Foundation for Economic Education “played a pivotal role in my development of free market thinking and gave me a shot in the arm to share the message of liberty with others,” says Evan. “That FEE summer camp in 2012 was intellectually stimulating and a lot of fun. It provided me with a solid foundation of not only basic free market principles but also important life skills and lessons. One that comes to mind that Dr. Reed taught was that ‘Successful people plan for what they want.’”
When I asked him about his future plans, Evan wrote in an email, “I look forward to when I can speak to large groups on the importance of our Constitutional form of government. As far as a career path, I am exploring many options, including business, journalism, and law, all of which are areas which can make extensive use of the principles of liberty.”
Earlier this month, I heard Evan speak to just such a “large group” of several hundred people. He was invited to speak on the flight deck of the USS Midway in San Diego as part of a Flag Day celebration. I was already next door—in the Southwest for a week’s vacation—and when he invited me to be present, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to be with him and his family and friends. How proud I was when during his speech he looked directly at me and declared, that “free-market capitalism gives opportunity to all who are willing to work hard.”
FEE’s mission is to “inspire, educate, and connect future leaders with the economic, ethical, and legal principles” of a free society. Evan Buck is one of the best examples of that. It’s young people like Evan who should give us all hope for liberty’s future. I predict you will hear his name often in the years to come.