Leader Advancement Scholarship

Choosing where I wanted to attend college was one of the toughest decisions of my life, not to mention the most important. I spent a majority of my senior year applying and visiting colleges but over half way through I still had no idea where I wanted to go. This all changed when I competed for the Leader Advancement Scholarship at Central Michigan. I was already leaning towards attending Central but before the LAS competition had even started I was sold.


A picture of me and my cohort taken right outside the Leadership Institute.

Soon after my parents and I had arrived to Powers Hall (where the competition was held) we had the privilege of listening to Dan Gaken, the director of the Leadership Institute, speak. Before he had even finished speaking my mom was in tears and had written in her notes “You belong here.” And I knew, without the smallest hint of doubt, that she was right.


I’ll never forget the day I was received the news that I was going to have the privilege of being a part of LAS. I was lucky enough to have my family, the superintendent, and Dan come to my school to give me this life changing news (see the video here). Since that day my life has been everything I imagined that it could be and more.

The amount that I have gained from being a part of the Leader Advancement Scholarship is immeasurable. LAS, for starters, has given me 48 best friends. I knew going in that some members of my cohort and I would become friends but I never imagined how close we would all become. Having all of them here for me, literally right down the hall (all LAS freshman are required to stay in Barnes), has given me a sense of home, here at school, that I didn’t expect.

On top of the members of my cohort, LAS has offered me countless positives. These include the mentor/mentee relationship (visit Mentor/Mentee Retreat page to learn more), networking ability, having members of the LI there for support, and so many more. LAS has provided a myriad of exuberant opportunities to myself and my cohort and continues to do so everyday. These include potential internships over the summer, limitless volunteer opportunities, constant personal growth, and, overall, just an enhanced college experience.