Leader Advancement Scholar

The Leader Advancement Scholarship was always appealing to me. Throughout high school, I participated in many leadership clubs and activities: I was on E-board of student council, the President of Leadership Council, a freshman mentor, a member of student advisory committee, a member of National Honor Society, and a captain of two sports teams. When I found out about the scholarship, I thought I had a fair shot of receiving it, so I applied.

After a long wait period, I was notified by email that I was invited to “Competition Day.” Me along with 79 other students came to fight for 50 scholarship positions in the Leadership Institute. We all participated in group activities to see how well we interacted in a group setting, along with group interviews to showcase what we were all about in person, rather than on a piece of paper. After comp day came to a close, I nervously waited for what felt like a lifetime. I was nervous. I was not good enough to get the scholarship.  So many people were better. I waited, and waited, and waited.

January 20th, 2016. The day my life changed right before my eyes. I sat nervously in my living room for a call I thought would never come. At 5:46, my phone rang… On the other side of the phone was Dan Gaken, program director of the Leadership Institute. What came out of his mouth changed my life: “This is Dan Gaken with the Leadership Institute, I just wanted to know if you want to be part of our cohort next year?” I froze. Of course I did! “Absolutely, thank you for the opportunity” I replied.

From that moment, I knew I was a Chippewa. From that moment, I knew I was a Leader Advancement Scholar.