Cohort 11 Begins College
This semester, thirty of the most selective colleges and universities throughout the United States welcomed the exceptional members of LEDA Cohort 11, our first expanded Cohort. After achieving outstanding admissions results in the spring, LEDA Cohort 11 Scholars evaluated their options with the support of LEDA’s College Guidance team, taking into account factors such as overall fit and financial aid packages. “I loved how much expertise the staff had,” said Cohort 11 Scholar AynNichelle (Swarthmore ’20). “I … appreciated how they answered my calls after office hours, supported me emotionally, and offered advice on issues outside of the college guidance process. All of these things made my experience great.” A full list of where Cohort 11 Scholars have enrolled is below.
|Bethune Cookman University||1|
|Carnegie Mellon University||1|
|Colorado Mesa University||1|
|Colorado State University Fort Collins||1|
|Johns Hopkins University||1|
|Michigan State University||1|
|Mount Holyoke College||1|
|Olin College of Engineering||1|
|Santa Clara University||1|
|University of Missouri St. Louis||1|
|University of North Carolina Chapel Hill||3|
|University of Notre Dame||1|
|University of Pennsylvania||2|
|University of Richmond||1|
|Washington University in St. Louis||5|
|Wichita State University||1|
LEDA’s College Success team places a special emphasis on the transition to college, drawing on more than a decade of institutional expertise in supporting Scholars as they navigate freshman year. The team began formal outreach to Cohort 11 Scholars this past summer and has continued to maintain close contact. LEDA also grew our peer-mentoring program to accommodate our first expanded freshman class. Scholars note that having a peer mentor is a great resource during freshman year. “My mentor and I developed a relationship in which we learned from each other’s college experiences and helped each other out,” said Cohort 10 Scholar John (Vassar ’19). “She was fun, knowledgeable, and helpful.”
By pairing freshman Scholars with undergraduate Scholars, each LEDA freshman is welcomed by an experienced, relatable friend upon arrival to campus. In addition, older Scholars are empowered to continue building the LEDA Community and “pay it forward” in supporting the efforts of our College Success team to develop additional campus-based resources.
We are extremely proud of our Cohort 11 Scholars and are excited to see how they develop as leaders on campus and beyond!
2016 Aspects of Leadership Summer Institute
In a sea of orange LEDA t-shirts, the 2016 Aspects of Leadership Summer Institute opened on June 18 and LEDA welcomed our newest Scholars to the Princeton University campus. Traveling from 37 states, LEDA Cohort 12 includes our first Scholars from Maine and Wyoming. These 100 exceptional students spent seven weeks developing their leadership skills, preparing for standardized tests, and discovering the powerful sense of community that is a hallmark of the LEDA experience. “I loved the Summer Institute so much. It gave me an opportunity to surround myself with extremely intelligent people who have gone through some of the same struggles that I have,” reflected one Scholar. “LEDA made me realize that getting into a good college was possible.”
Many highlights of the summer, such as the Q&A session with Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber (seen at the right taking a photo with Cohort 12 Scholar Ahmed), and the July 4th LEDA Olympics, are familiar to long-time members of the LEDA Community. New activities this year included weekly Scholar “takeovers” of the LEDA Snapchat account (leda_scholars), giving our followers a “day-in the-life” perspective of the summer, and a revamped LEDA Reunion, which featured a community picnic, Scholar Karaoke, and other opportunities for more than 50 older Scholars to reconnect with old friends and bond with new ones.
Cohort 12 Scholars spent a significant amount of the Summer Institute learning about the college admission process with support from LEDA’s College Guidance team. They received detailed information the application process and financial aid, met one-on-one with their LEDA College Guidance Counselors, and meticulously researched schools to create balanced college lists that matched their personal and academic interests. As one Cohort 12 Scholar noted in reflecting on the Summer Institute, “I’m more aware of what I want to do with my future. I want to attend a college that fits me and lets me grow and challenge myself.”
Scholars gained first-hand exposure to various colleges and universities through visits to six college campuses and attendance at a college fair with representatives from over 20 institutions. In addition, admissions officers from 19 top schools, including Brown University, Franklin & Marshall College, Harvard University, Occidental College, and Washington University in St. Louis, came to the Princeton campus to recruit our Scholars.
Check out our photo gallery below to relive even more our #LEDAsummer memories.
Fall Cocktail Party
meet LEDA Cohort 6 Scholar Shenaille
What could be better than an evening mingling with some of our nation’s future leaders? LEDA was delighted to meet more than 50 guests at our annual fall cocktail party on October 18, hosted by LEDA Board Member Lindsey Turner. Nearly 20 Scholars welcomed our guests to the LEDA Community, providing them with the opportunity to hear first-hand about how LEDA has impacted their lives. The event also gave the Scholars the opportunity to share their remarkable accomplishments and network with professionals representing a variety of career fields.
After introductions from Ms. Turner and Executive Director Beth Breger, Cohort 10 Scholar Kandace shared how becoming a Scholar was a transformative moment her life: “The best summer of my life began when I received my acceptance to LEDA. The idea that there were people who wanted to provide all of this instruction, all of these educational gifts, to kids like me, and for free, was shocking. LEDA was everything I could have ever wanted.”
Kandace, who has written for The Huffington Post, also reflected on the how the LEDA Community has been a consistent and invaluable source of support when her family suffered a tragic loss:
The aspect of LEDA that I am most grateful for is the community. Last year, [during] the worst experience of my life, I could not have survived without my LEDA family. Some LEDA Scholars had been through challenging situations similar to my own and offered advice on how to keep achieving, despite feeling like the world was falling apart around me. I was met with so much genuine love, and empathy, and care from the entire community that it was difficult to ever feel alone. Their support kept me grounded and helped me focus on what was really important.
Click through the gallery below for more memories from this enchanting evening.
Apply to LEDA
This year’s LEDA application deadline is December 12. Eligible high school juniors are encouraged to start their applications as soon as possible. For additional information about the LEDA application and program eligibility, please visit www.ledascholars.org/application.
Support LEDA on Giving Tuesday
LEDA will be participating in Giving Tuesday, a global day of charitable giving that kicks off the holiday season. Giving Tuesday harnesses the potential of social media and the generosity of people around the world to celebrate and encourage giving. Over the next few weeks, LEDA will be sharing the story of a Scholar who is paying forward the generosity of LEDA’s supporters. Stay tuned for updates on how you can support LEDA, and mark your calendars: Tuesday, November 27, 2016.