The Leadership Advancement Scholarship is a scholarship awarded to 40 (or sometimes more) incoming freshman who have demonstrated a commitment to leadership and service, and would like to continue that passion through their college career.

When I found out that I received this scholarship, I was ECSTATIC. I jumped around the parking lot of our local diner while my mom laughed at me. I was excited for the opportunities that were yet to come my way, and this program has lived up to the excitement.

One of the biggest things I have gained from this experience is the knowledge that I am not a leader of tomorrow, but a leader of TODAY. This is Dan Gaken’s mantra: he preaches it in everything he does because he wants to make sure everyone knows this. Too often we are lead to believe that we can make a difference AFTER college, but not before or during. We are too young, too inexperienced. Dan lets us know that we can lead now, if we put our hearts and minds into it. And that is what we do in LAS. We are given the opportunity to find our passions and do something about them.

Another major thing the Leader Advancement Scholarship has given me is a second family. I may not be all that close with every one yet (especially because I do not live in Barnes with everyone) but I know that I will always have people there for me. If I ever need anything, they will be the first to step up to the plate. And yes, not everyone will be close with everyone, but are we all close with each one of our family members? No, but we know that our family will always be there for us, and our LAS family will always be there for each other.