My entire life, I have always been the one to want to stand out from the crowd. I wanted to lead others to find their own passions. Being someone who can make a difference in other people’s lives was something that I strived to do everyday. Throughout grade school, I was always involved with student leadership, whether it be student council, being on the class officer panel, going to several leadership conferences and camps. I loved the idea of growing and being the best person that I could be. As college was approaching, two friends of mine that went to
CMU told me about this scholarship called LAS. I was instantly intrigued by the idea of it because I have always been involved in high school and I thought this would be a great way of continuing that into college.
LAS stands for Leader Advancement Scholar, and it basically is a $8,000 scholarship for your four years while your at college as well as placing you within the leadership program through the Leadership Institute(LI) at CMU in which you will be a part of a cohort of 40 other student leaders.
When applying for LAS, you are to fill out an application that is strictly based off of your involvements within your high school including leadership positions that you’ve held, conferences you’ve been to and community service that you have portrayed throughout you high school career. Once all the applications are submitted, they are viewed over and then are narrowed down to roughly 70 applicants who will then compete for the scholarship on CMU’s campus on a day the LI calls “Competition Day”. At Competition Day, all LAS applicants are to participate in various Leadership activities in which their skills to communicate and work with others are evaluated. Once the day is over, each persons performance from that day is evaluated as well as combining that with their application of involvements and then that is when the final scholarship winners are announced.
Being a part of LAS gives you so many opportunities to really excel as you enter this whole new life of college. As a cohort, you are required to complete a protocol within each semester while you’re at CMU. Some of the requirements include having specific classes in which you take with your cohort, completing a certain amount of community service hours, attending leadership conferences and speakers, and most importantly just being an active member of the LI and being involved on campus. While LAS is a scholarship and a program, it is so much more that can’t be explained, only experienced.
As an Leader Advancement Scholar, I have gained so much so far in such a short time. I have gained so many lifelong friends. It’s such a great way to come into college with because you get to come in with 40+ others that have the same passion for leadership and as a freshman, you get your own mentor from the year above you. It gives you so much more than a scholarship. It gives you friends, mentors, experience, and memories that’ll last a lifetime.