Past YAS Winners
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2015 – Alyssa Eagan (CO), Luke Johnsen (CO), Holly Hurst (VA)st
yas2013-t 2013 – Tim McCall
yas2012-t 2012 – Kevin Finnegan and Rachel Zell
yas2011-t 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
yas2007-t 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
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  • My experience at the MOTM in Milwaukee was amazing. I had so much fun talking to so many new people about what I love to do. I got to enjoy the beautiful city, from walking on the river, the Museum, the factory to the Safe House. By far my favorite was just talking to everyone. I have definitely been inspired for my own future in ABATE and I look up to everyone for their leadership skills, that I will one day hope to have. I learned a lot in the workshops and left feeling more educated on how to begin being a supportive member of MRF and ABATE. I’m thankful for the whole experience and I am looking forward to lifelong connections. Special thank you to the Awareness and Education for an unforgettable experience. See ya next year!!
    Luke Johnsen
  • The week leading up to MOTM was pure excitement. Luke and I were getting the opportunity to go to the birth place of our favorite hobby and listen to amazing speakers and learn more about MRF. When we first got there we were greeted by two bikers looking for a cab to the museum, which is what we were planning as well. The first two guys that we ended up meeting were Slider and Chopper which made the whole trip really special for us. We got to see the factory tour as well. After we got our award, we met so many people…it was like we were famous!
    The main question was “How do we get more young riders involved?” this was really hard to answer because everyone we ride with are not our age. But we came to the conclusion of a few things. It’s all about planning the seed, letting young riders know what your local SMRO and MRF are about and planting the seed. Hopefully it can turn into a lasting impression, or even a friendship like we have found along the way. Down the road when the time is right in their lives and they consider fighting for their rights to ride, hopefully they will go straight to ABATE. Young people are at different times in their lives, starting careers, families or just wanting to have fun. Also, I thought about watching where Harley-Davidson is focusing. A big thing this season was military and young riders. They were driven to get all the military on a bike which is a great place to find young riders who are eager to fight for what is right. I also liked the idea of asking people who are holding poker runs if you can set up a table at one of their stops with current issues going on in your state, along with getting them registered. Registration is usually hectic, so maybe second stop and just hang out for an hour.
    I learned so much about what it really means to be part of a SMRO, what it takes and how to be a supporting member from a breakoff class ‘Reducing the effects of Toxic Members’. All the speakers during the conference were all inspiring in many ways. I came back to my own job at Harley with a new appreciation for Harley and the opportunity that has been created for me personally for work, fun and politically. I look forward to learning so much more while being part of ABATE. Thank you so so much for everything everyone. And amazing job to ABATE of Wisconsin, you guys rocked!!
    Alyssa Eagan
  • This year, I was fortunate enough to attend the Motorcycle Riders Foundation Meeting of the Minds in Milwaukee, WI as a MRF Young Activist Scholarship Recipient. As a recipient of this scholarship, I was given round-trip airfare and lodging for the extent of the conference as well as the wonderful experience of attending my very first Meeting of the Minds. I have been a member of my SMRO for years, and even held elected offices from the age of 16. But, I had never been to a national conference bringing motorcycle activists together. What a wonderful experience it was to see people all over the country fighting for the same (or similar) things going on at home! The abundance of knowledge from other state representatives will benefit the efforts in your state on same or similar situations. If you’re a young motorcycle activist, make sure to apply for this wonderful opportunity in 2016!
    On the first day, I went to the general welcome session without knowing what to really expect. I stuck with my family and people I already knew. That afternoon, I began to break out on my own as I attended Jennifer Ross’ breakout session on the Canadian Socio Economic Impact of Motorcycling. As an Accountant that also happened to minor in Economics in college, this session got my wheels turning on how we can use these economic statistics to benefit our lobbying efforts here in the states.
    Another session that had a strong impact on me was, “What do you see when you ride?” The session, hosted by Bruce Downs (ABATE of CO) was great for both new riders and veterans alike. His interactive presentation is a great training tool for awareness. In Virginia, we go into the high schools to raise motorcycle awareness in the driver’s education classrooms. We’re so excited to interface this into our presentation to young drivers thanks to Bruce’s cooperation. We’re also excited to run with Bruce’s idea and make a similar presentation for spotting the motorcycle in hidden/dangerous situations. Thanks, Bruce, for your inspiration!
    Overall, the best part of this whole conference was meeting people from all over the nation (and even surrounding countries) that share the same passion for motorcycle rights. I believe strongly that one of the best things you can do in life is network. Networking can help you professionally and personally. You never know when you can help one another down the road. I have too many new Facebook friends to count, and I’m thankful for the technology to keep us in touch until we meet again in Oklahoma next year. The more we bind together as a single organization, the more we can influence our rights to ride. Always remember, “Together we are strong; separate we are weak.”

    Keep the Shiny Side Up

    Holly Hurst
    Tennessee (Formerly Virginia)

  • 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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