AJE Summer Institute Personal Story 

Written By Riley Neil

“What will you be doing with your summer break?” Is one of the most asked questions that college students get asked shortly after their spring break is over. It can be overwhelming for students to try to decide what they should do with their time as there are various opportunities that can be beneficial to a resume. It can be hard to decide if one would rather be working with children at a summer camp, traveling abroad, interning in a big city, spending time with family or just having fun soaking up the time away from school. Spending two weeks learning about American History does not always jump off the page for college students when looking at ways they can fill their months off from school.

As a self-proclaimed history buff, sitting in a classroom learning about American History for two weeks of my summer was no great sacrifice. I was excited to apply for The American Journey Summer Institute by Wallbuilders and Mercury One, but at the time had no idea the real impact it would have on my summer, my resume and my entire worldview. I walked away from the program with the ability to critically think about the world around me, have the confidence to question boldly and constantly seek the truth in my daily life. 

The American Journey Summer Institute is a two week program in the summer where students aged 18-25 years old are taught American History in ways that are unfortunately lacking in many education institutions today. It is a deep dive into the founding and history of America that seeks showing the truth about America by looking at primary sources. Students look into the philosophies and ideologies that shaped America and are found in America’s founding documents. 

Students are able to see and hold a large amount of historical artifacts that are owned by Wallbuilders and Mercury One. Historical artifacts such as the original draft of the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson, a napkin with Adolf Hitler’s blood on it, a letter written by George Washington and Darth Vader’s mask from the original Star Wars movies.

Students also have the ability to listen to guest speakers about contemporary issues and hear incredible stories from individuals fighting for justice and freedom across the globe. Guest speakers such as military professionals, attorneys and non-profit leaders fighting against sex-trafficking share their knowledge and experiences with students. Students are also able to talk to radio host Glenn Beck and learn how to defend our rights and liberties in American culture today.

The American Journey Summer Institute does more than just make a student wiser in their history knowledge, but also has a spiritual and cultural impact that lasts longer than the two weeks a student has here. Wallbuilders and Mercury One points students back to Biblical truth and equips students with skills so they can stand confident in the values they have and the values they want to see in society today. It brings students across the country together so students can have fellowship together and build strong friendships that last far past the summer. 

The American Journey Summer Institute goes beyond learning history dates and listening to a history lecture. It instead teaches students the incredible stories within history, how to do research with primary sources and how history impacts our present and future. It does not take a history buff to love The American Journey Summer Institute as there is value for every single individual that attends. It will grow students into critical thinkers, defenders of the truth and make them hungry for knowledge. 

There is no question that The American Journey Summer Institute is an unforgettable, incredible opportunity for students. It is more than just a resume builder or summer class, but instead a program that will allow a student to gain skills and knowledge that will impact them for the rest of their life. 

Written By Riley NeilWritten By Riley Neil