Understanding America

Understanding America

Spencer and Bailey Amaral Launch Windrose Project

Spencer and Bailey Arlinghaus Amaral, ’14, ’15, aim to teach young Americans about freedom, faith, and virtue through the Windrose Project, a leadership development organization. The project, whose name evokes the directional markings on a compass, sponsors educational seminars, local service projects, and an annual trip to the nation’s capital. Over 2,000 students, ranging in age from 13 to 25, have participated in the project in Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and Los Angeles.

Bailey launched the project in 2015 in Texas—where Spencer was enrolled in Dallas Theological Seminary—as a way to teach civics outside the school system. Spencer joined the project in 2016, and soon realized he was in an entirely new teaching environment.

“Regardless of whether we’re teaching immigrants or those who were born here, many of our students don’t understand what it means to be an American, because they weren’t taught civics,” Spencer says. “We explore big themes, such as why America is unique as the first country in the world founded on an idea: ‘All men are created equal.’”

“We organize small groups to study the Constitution and its history,” Bailey says. “We tell stories about America in a way to try to connect with people who haven’t heard them.”

Students who attend classes, as well as those who learn remotely, are also encouraged to take part in monthly service projects: “Instead of waiting for the government to do things, Bailey says, “we teach students to act on their own initiative.”

A trip to the nation’s capital began as a recruiting tool, but is rapidly becoming the centerpiece of their curriculum. “The Washington, D.C., Leadership Summit is an all-expenses-paid program,” Spencer says. “We select participants based on an essay and video competition that focuses on natural rights and the proper role of government.”

The Amarals are opening new chapters in Detroit and Portland this summer, and have four more chapters in the works.


Printed in the Spring 2018 Alumni Magazine