Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) ditched the podium at CPAC today for a personal, relaxed address that highlighted the impact of a conservative mentor on his life.

“We are a conservative nation going in the right direction,” Scott confidently predicted, arguing against ObamaCare and the for the return of fiscal sanity to Washington. “…We need to grow our economy and not our government.”

Stating “every parent deserves a choice and every child deserves a chance,” Scott also championed school choice, one of his favorite causes. Raised by a single-mother who worked 16 hours a day, he noted that when got bad grades such as failing Spanish and English — “bi-ignorant” — “my mother just pulled out the switch.”

He credited late business owner John Moniz with changing his path in life.

“He taught me that having a job is a good thing but creating jobs is a better thing,” Scott said. “…He taught me how to think my way out of poverty.”

“I believe that America’s finest hour is still ahead of us,” the senator said.

And don’t miss Next Generation’s members-only coverage of CPAC 2013 — featuring former Congressman Allen West and Michelle Fields.Click here to learn more.