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By Dani Moritz
For freshman Hannah
Podgorski, it is a way to
connect with other people.
For senior Erin White, it
is an opportunity to attend
events that she would
not attend otherwise.
For all students, it is
a no-strings-attached
scholarship and the chance
to learn more than what
the textbook offers.
LEAD, which stands
for leading, education,
achieving and developing,
is celebrating its 10th
anniversary this year.
The program was
originally introduced
by President Jahnae
H. Barnett as a way to
encourage students to
take advantage of cultural
opportunities outside the
classroom, and it is clearly
doing its job.
“The results have been
fabulous,” said Barnett.
“Most students tell me that
they have developed an
interest, or at least become
acquainted with subjects
they never would have
without the encouragement
of the LEAD program.”
LEAD Coordinator
Debbie Schick agrees.
“A lot of students
of have done things,
seen things and gone to
events that they probably
would not have gone to
[without the program],”
said Schick.
For example, theater
majors are encouraged
to attend sporting events,
while athletes may fnd
themselves watching a
play. LEAD inevitably
connects the William
Woods campus and, at
times, its events, such as
its concert series, can even
become social events.
“It’s more fun when
everyone goes,” said
freshman Kristen Cuneo.
“It’s a time for everyone to
get to together as students,
relax and have fun.”
Besides the cultural
experience and social
elements, however, LEAD
primarily appeals to
students(and their parents)
for its scholarship money.
Residential students
receive $5,000 annually
and commuters receive
$2,500 annually.
“I do it for the money,”
said freshman Alex Cash.
“That’s what makes it
worth it.”
While almost all
students who participate
appreciate the program for
the scholarship, a number
of them fnd themselves
annoyed with constantly
checking the LEAD
calendar for events that
ft their schedule and
their interests.
“The money’s good,
but I didn’t really care
for any of the events
because they were
boring,” said senior
Theresa Gregar, who
participated in LEAD
throughout her college
career. “They should
revamp the program to
make it more interesting
to students’ personalities
and interests.”
To make the program
better, some students,
like Podgorski, Cash and
Greger, contend that fewer
points should be required,
more two-point events
should be offered, students
should be able to attend
more sporting events,
events should be shorter in
length and more scanners
should be used at the end
of the events to avoid both
the rush to the door and
long wait to get the card
scanned.
However, not all
students feel like this.
White, who has also
participated in LEAD
throughout her time as
a college student, feels
that the events are
certainly worthwhile.
“We’re getting paid
about $100 for every
LEAD event we go to,”
said White. “That’s pretty
fair, and in addition
we’re gaining a lot of
cultural experiences.”
Monday, December 6, 2010
The Talon 3
N E WS
LEADing the Way
However, students
are not expected to fully
understand the value of
LEAD program right
away. Schick maintains
that students may actually
never truly appreciate the
one-of-a-kind program
until after they graduate.
“I think that when
students have left here
and are on their own and
in a job, they’re going to
look back and think ‘I got
to meet some people, see
some things, and do things
that not every college
student gets to do,’”
she said.
“It’s not just the
monetary [help]…it’s the
opportunities to meet with
people you’re going to
meet and see the things
you’re going to see.”
After 10 years LEAD
lives on—always inspiring,
always educating and
always bringing
people together.