As the Texas Legislature convenes to begin making important decisions for citizens across the state, Texas Scorecard has assembled a new team of young liberty-minded activists to help inform the public of the legislative process—and corruption—in Texas’ government.

Four “fellows” will be joining Texas Scorecard for the spring academic semester as part of the Texas Scorecard Journalism Fellowship. The program is a comprehensive fellowship initiative designed for conservative Texans under 25 with an interest in government and public policy.

The fellows will be helping unveil government corruption by writing articles and participating in other activities to inform citizens of what their lawmakers are really doing at the Texas Capitol.

“I liked a lot of the work Texas Scorecard has done, especially in exposing [Dennis] Bonnen and in general exposing the left and the establishment across Texas,” said Joshua Pierce, one of the 2021 Texas Scorecard fellows, in reference to the disgraced former speaker of the Texas House.

Joshua—a conservative activist, graduate of the University of Dallas, and Eagle Scout—said he’s looking forward to joining Texas Scorecard’s inholding politicians accountable to the citizens they are supposed to represent.

Also joining the fellows team is Iris Poole, a “freedom-loving” activist originally from Oregon.

“A friend originally recommended Texas Scorecard to me since it aligned with what I’ve done in the past,” Iris said. “I liked and appreciated what the organization was about.”

She added she’s excited to develop more experience and skill in journalistic writing.

“I’m definitely looking forward to actually gaining that as a skill and being able to identify what good writing is in journalism and what’s not, and what actually catches the attention of the reader,” she said.

The fellows team is completed by two other young Texans interested in shifting the culture and government: Ariana Silva and Michael Swirsky.

Ariana, who is currently majoring in Radio, Television, and Film at the University of Texas at Austin, said her involvement in the school’s Young Conservatives of Texas group sparked her interest in state government and using her media skills to impact it.

“The Texas Scorecard opportunity gave me the perfect opportunity to combine both my interest in Texas politics with creating visual media,” Ariana said, adding she’s looking forward to “actually being able to apply” what’s she’s learned in her visual media classes.

“I hope there are more conservative organizations pushing forward with visual media because I think it’s important to take that out of the hands of the left,” she said. “For so long, we’ve let them have control over that.”

Michael—a born-and-raised Houstonian with longtime interests in Texas politics, speech, debate, and chess—said he’s excited to continue becoming a more influential conservative. He’s already written for Texas Scorecard in the past and used to have his own podcast.

“I’ve always been a big politics nerd; it’s always been something I’ve been interested in,” Michael said. “When I saw this opportunity, I decided to jump at it.”

“I’m looking forward to being able to develop and further my skill set to be effective as a conservative in the future,” he added.

The fellows joined the Texas Scorecard team on January 6 and will continue through May 31.

Jacob Asmussen

Jacob Asmussen is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard. He attended the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and in 2017 earned a double major in public relations and piano performance.