Emily Kastens

Hi! My name is Emily, and I am a 20-year-old senior at Liberty University Online, pursuing my B.Ed. in Elementary Education. I grew up in a strong Christian conservative home in Colorado, and my family inspired my love of politics. I can’t wait to find ways to integrate my passion for the Constitution and America into my future classroom!

I also love public speaking, and two of my proudest moments include representing Colorado at the 2022 American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest and speaking at the 2023 Western Conservative Summit as their Under 30 Speech Contest winner!

When I’m not doing school, teaching music lessons, or tutoring, you can find me enjoying art, puzzles, audio dramas, and writing songs on my ukulele.

I would like to thank Constituting America for this amazing opportunity, my parents and siblings for always supporting me, and God for His goodness and inspiration in my life!
-Numbers 6:24-26

Watch Emily’s Winning PSA Below:


Our Interview With Emily

Was this the first time you entered the contest?
Yes! This was the first time I entered the contest. I realized this was the last year I could enter as a college student, so I even rearranged my class schedule so I could enter!

How did you hear about the contest?
My older sister sent me information about the contest a couple of years ago, but I rediscovered it through a scholarship database.

What inspired your work?
I did a Constitutional speech scholarship in 2022, and that inspired my passion for the Constitution and, specifically, the First Amendment. When I found out I could combine my love of art, video editing, and the First Amendment, I couldn’t resist trying!

What did you learn while creating your entry?
I loved learning and observing how the sections of the First Amendment are so interconnected. Because our freedom of religion is protected, we all have convictions about something. Because we all have convictions, we all have reasons to speak out. Because we have the freedom to do so, we also have the freedom to assemble and petition to attempt to persuade others to consider and make decisions based on our convictions. We can also practice our freedom of speech through the press. I am so thankful the Constitution protects so many of our fundamental freedoms!

How do you plan to spread the word this year to your peers about the importance of the U.S Constitution?
Last summer, I did a Leadership Congress through Patriot Academy, and that inspired me to share more about the Constitution. I have been working on a curriculum for middle school students about the Constitution, civics, and communication, and I hope to complete that and share it with students, particularly in the homeschool community.

How do your friends respond to history or talking about the Constitution?
I know I have a few friends that I can talk politics and the Constitution with, but for some reason it is a touchy subject for many other people. However, when I know someone will be receptive to hearing about the Constitution, I love sharing information with them, and I hope they can sense my excitement!

What do you love about U.S History and the forming of our government?
I love how our country’s Founding Fathers built this country on principles they knew worked – Limited government, Individual liberties, Free enterprise, and Timeless truths (what I learned at Patriot Academy as the LIFT principles). The Constitution was based off of documents that were effective, such as the Magna Carta and the Mayflower Compact, and the Founders also learned from some of our country’s first mistakes, like the Articles of Confederation. Obviously what they instituted was successful – although the average constitution lasts about 17 years, the U.S. Constitution has been in effect for over 230 years!

Which U.S. historical site would you like to visit?
I went to Washington, D.C. with my family a few years ago, and I loved visiting the Washington Monument and the Library of Congress. I would absolutely love to go back!

Which American historical figure is most influential/inspirational to you?
Frederick Douglass is an American historical figure who is incredibly inspirational to me. He became one of the greatest orators of all time, which inspires me because I love public speaking. I hope I can learn and grow from his example and influence.

Who is your greatest role model?
My greatest role models are my parents. They have dedicated their whole lives to help me and my siblings become successful adults, and I am so grateful for everything they have done. My mom even homeschooled us three kids from Kindergarten all the way through high school!

What in your life are you most passionate about?
I would have to say my greatest passion is teaching. I love working with kids and seeing that special expression on their face when they understand what we have been working on. It is my dream to inspire and impact as many lives of the next generation as possible!

How do you spend your free time?
In my free time, I enjoy art (especially painting, drawing, and chalk art), puzzles, listening to music and audio dramas, writing songs on my ukulele, and editing videos. I also love playing board games with my family and friends.

What are your plans for the future?
In May 2024, I will graduate from Liberty University Online with my B.Ed. in Elementary Education. I would like to pursue a few extra certifications to help me become a reading or a math interventionist. I hope to continue developing curricula and grow my online teacher’s store, Emspirations Learning. A huge dream of mine is to travel around the country and speak at political and educational conferences, but I also would love to start a family.

If you could do one super impactful thing to help people, what would it be?
I would become an advocate for human life. The unborn are a huge population, but their rights are still not protected in very many states. I want everyone to know how each of us are fearfully and wonderfully created in the image of God and that every life matters.

Why is the Constitution relevant today?
The Constitution is relevant today because it has been relevant every day since it was enacted. If we as American citizens do not know our Constitutional rights, how are we supposed to stand up for them? How are we supposed to take action when the government tries to usurp their powers and take advantage of us? The Constitution is relevant because it is still holding our country together – as long as we do our part to make sure we do not tear it apart.

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