A fourth-year student at the University of Virginia, Riley is majoring in Mandarin Chinese and the politics honors program at UVA’s College of Arts & Sciences.
During his week-long trip to Washington, D.C. as a part of Y.E.S., Riley’s exceptional debate and speech skills earned him a $2,500 scholarship from the NRA Foundation and he has gone on to be a shining example of the character present in those that attend the summit.
“I still remember my time at the Youth Education Summit, and I think it certainly was one of the more formative experiences that I have had,” Riley said.
Now he has the chance for another formative experience, one as a Rhodes Scholar.
The prestigious Rhodes Scholarships fully funds two to three years of study at the University of Oxford in England. There, Riley plans to gain a masters and doctorate in international relations before pursuing a career in the United States Army.
Despite no military background in his family, Riley’s interest in serving his country came about after visiting the American Legion as president of their civic training event, Boys Nation. Joining the Army ROTC once he reached college, Riley rose to the program’s senior-most leadership position – Battalion Commander.
Performing exceptionally in the 101st Airborne Division Air Assault School, Army Airborne Infantry School and a number of additional programs, Riley is now recognized as one of the top 10 Army ROTC cadets in the nation.
Riley’s interest in China originated in high school while serving with Chinese-American students in the Future Business Leaders of America program. He’s even co-writing a book on the future of Sino-American relations with Dale Copeland, an Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies at UVA’s Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics.
We’re extremely proud of Joseph here at the NRA and wish him, and his fiance, the best in their future endeavors. It’s rewarding to know his time at the Youth Education Summit is remembered fondly and those experiences helped shape him into the man he is today.
Image courtesy NRA Blog