LEDA News – Fall 2018


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New Beginnings for LEDA Cohort 13

Cohort 13 Scholars at BrownThis fall, Cohort 13 Scholars are entering the next phase in their development as leaders with the start of their first semester at some of the most selective colleges in the nation. Our Scholars have now settled in on campus, including the eight Scholars (pictured right) who are attending Brown University, and this exciting new beginning is the result of all their hard work and dedication, especially during the college application process in their senior year of high school. The LEDA college guidance team was with them every step of the way, providing support from the very first drafts of their college lists and personal statements to advising on the final matriculation decisions nearly a year later. 93% of Cohort 13 Scholars matriculated at a Barron’s “Most Competitive” institution, including 69% at an Ivy League school or Stanford.

Brown University8
Carleton College1
Colgate University3
Denison University1
Emory University2
Georgetown University6
Harvard University10
Howard University1
Lewis and Clark College1
Middlebury College1
Occidental College1
Princeton University14
Stanford University23
Swarthmore College2
Trinity College1
University of Hawaii Hilo1
University of Nevada – Reno1
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill1
University of Pennsylvania3
University of Richmond1
University of Tulsa1
University of Wisconsin – Madison1
Vassar College1
Washington University in St. Louis1
Wesleyan University1
Williams College1
Yale University8

One Scholar reflected on the journey so far: “I would not be where I am today without LEDA. It has become more than just a resource to me: the LEDA Community is full of people that I consider my family and my closest friends. I will never forget everything that this program has done for me. As we say, LEDA for Life.”

JLEDA Scholars aim highThroughout the summer, LEDA has stayed in touch with our newest college students, with the College Success team beginning to provide support for the transition to campus life. Each freshman Scholar is assigned an older Scholar as a peer mentor, and the team will continue to check in with Scholars one-on-one to serve as a resource on every aspect of the college experience.

We are proud of our Cohort 13 Scholars and look forward to seeing how they continue to develop into our next generation of leaders on campus – and beyond.

Good luck, Cohort 13!

2018 Aspects of Leadership Summer Institute

From June 16 through August 4, LEDA Cohort 14 Scholars attended our Aspects of Leadership Summer Institute on the Princeton University campus.

For seven weeks this past summer, our 100 newest LEDA Scholars had the opportunity to participate in this iconic part of the LEDA experience. Our Scholars took part in a comprehensive program of leadership development, writing instruction by faculty from top colleges, standardized test preparation provided by Advantage Testing, personalized college guidance, and support from an inclusive and talented community. Scholars also visited six campuses on the East Coast and attended information sessions and panels led by representatives from 16 selective institutions, including Franklin & Marshall College, Reed College, and Yale University, on the Princeton campus.

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Eunice, Edly, Nicole, Ameena, and Alexis aim high on the first day of the Summer InstituteJessenia and Canden are all smiles during a community-building activityJerri Anna and Josie take in the sights during a campus visit to UPenn

This summer’s program included a new innovation: the LEDA Community Impact Project. Throughout the Summer Institute, each Scholar worked on a detailed plan to address a need in their community. JT from Chular, CA, presented a plan to defray the cost of public busing for high school students who want to stay after school and participate in extracurriculars. Ameena, noting that refugee students in her hometown of Fargo, ND, lack necessary educational and social support, proposed a student-led conversation and mentorship program to fill this gap.

“Being surrounded by so many amazing people at LEDA has taken away the fear of voicing my opinions,” explained Cohort 14 Scholar Bobby, from Shreveport, LA, “because I have a community that I know will support me and want to hear what I have to say.”

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Yara, Jessica, Michael, and Jocelyn dress up for a Scholar-led cultural sharing eventRosemeilyn and Ji Hong enjoy a campus visit to UPennGabrielle, Maria, and Irving plan for their presentation

The Summer Institute is the first step in preparing our Scholars for applying to college. Scholars return home with drafts of their college lists and personal statements, as well as the strong interpersonal bonds they have made in the LEDA Community. They also receive ongoing support through monthly meetings with their LEDA college guidance counselor that will allow them to complete the college application process with confidence and achieve outstanding results.

2018 LEDA Career Institute

LEDA successfully executed its second annual Career Institute from August 11 to August 15 at Princeton University. More than 150 LEDA Career Fellows representing 41 U.S. colleges and universities participated in the central component of the LEDA Career Network. Over the course of five days, Fellows explored career paths in a variety of industries and cultivated some of the skills needed to begin to thrive as leaders across a broad range of careers. The 2018 Career Institute was underwritten by the Gerstner Family Foundation, building on its flagship investment for the first annual Career Institute in 2017. Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., Chairman of the Foundation and this year’s keynote speaker, shared his experience as a CEO and talked about his commitment to education in his remarks to the Fellows.

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Opening night speaker Angelina Darrisaw talks about “Your Career as a Social Justice Issue”Career Fellows chat before the start of a sessionCareer Coach and LEDA Cohort 3 Scholar Vang represents his company during the “Tech Careers and Recruitment at Dropbox” session

LEDA partnered with leading employers, including Bank of America, EY, Morgan Stanley, and Ropes & Gray LLP, to provide information on potential career options and lead professional development workshops on such topics as interviewing techniques, personal branding, best practices for navigating recruitment processes, and building an all-star profile on LinkedIn.

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Career Fellows attend the closing banquetSeth Pearson shares his journey to becoming a lawyer at Foley and Lardner LLPCareer Fellows take a moment to enjoy the Princeton campus

Fellows received one-on-one coaching from seasoned industry professionals and guidance on how to address the challenges faced by under-resourced and first-generation college students as they embark upon their career journeys. Coaches included a number of alumni LEDA Scholars, including: Eri Andriola, a law clerk to a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of Florida; Edgar Orozco, a Mobile Software Engingeer and ScrumMaster at CoStar Group; and Shola Oyedele, a Senior Developer Consultant at IBM. Fellows were also assigned a LEDA Career Mentor who provided ongoing advising and support throughout the duration of the five-day event.

For more photos from the Career Institute, click here.

What We Do and Where We’re Going

LEDA is proud to present our updated mission and vision statements, reaffirming our commitment to supporting the members of our community as they grow, succeed, and lead.

Our mission statement embodies the purpose of our work: Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America empowers a community of exceptional young leaders from under-resourced backgrounds by supporting their higher education and professional success in order to create a more inclusive and equitable country.

LEDA Core Values and LEDA4lifeOur four Core Values – Excellence, Integrity, Compassion, and Community – and our unofficial motto – LEDA for Life (#LEDA4life) – also remain part of our community’s argot

Our vision statement summarizes the goal that the organization’s work is striving to achieve: an inclusive and equitable America where leadership reflects, celebrates, and supports diverse perspectives.

We are grateful to everyone who has supported LEDA in serving our mission and realizing our vision, and we are excited to empower our community members as they become our next generation of leaders.

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