Applying for the Leadership Advancement Scholar (LAS) was a last minute decision that has turned out to be one of my best decisions. When applying for LAS I hadn’t known much about what it was other than it reward me for my school and community involvement in high school. After further research, I had learned that LAS is a very prestigious scholarship to receive. The LAS is given to 40 students annually a scholarship rewarding them for their impressive involvement in they showed throughout high school. These 40 students are chosen through a extensive application and interview process.
This past spring when I applied, over 2000 other students applied as well. From the original 2000+ that applied, approximately 80 were chosen to compete in a scholarship competition. At competition day, students were asked to participate in a multitude of group activities as well as put through an interview lead by leaders of CMU’s campus. From this group of 80 students that were chosen, the group was then narrowed down to the top 40 leaders. I was blessed enough to be one of those 40 students.
As competition day was coming to an end, Dan Gaken, Director of Central Michigan University’s Leadership Institute told us that if we received the scholarship we would be notified by a personal phone call from him by the following Wednesday. The four days following competition day were the longest days of my life. When Wednesday came, everytime the phone rang I would run to answer it hoping that it would be Dan Gaken. By 8pm, I had still not recieved a phone call. It was then that I realized that my phone had died. At this point I ran to my room to charge my phone. When my phone turned on, I had one missed call accompanied by a voicemail. It was from the one and only Dan Gaken. I didn’t even make it through listening to the whole email before I started jumping up and down and screaming with excitement.
I was beyond thankful to have been chosen from a group of over 2000 leaders country wide to receive the Leader Advancement Scholarship.
Little to my knowledge, this voicemail was the start of a life changing experience.