"Without Leaders in Training I would not be where I am right now in my life. My name is Linda Ly and I am a freshman at the University of Nevada, Reno studying Biology. Leaders in Training has been a stepping stone in my life and has provided me with resources and the knowledge needed to get to and through college. Through Leaders in Training, I was able to learn about social issues like social inequity that exist the US education systems and I was able to develop my passion for teaching because of it. Leaders in Training is not just a college access program, but it is a program that help students develop social consciousness and help them find their own passions in their life. I was able to develop this relationship to my community that I would have never found if it was not for Leaders in Training. I remember going to my first community service event when I was a freshman in high school and we were serving food to the homeless on new year's eve. This was the moment I had realized that I cared deeply about my community and that I wanted to make a difference.
Leaders in Training provided me with life changing experiences through different service events, being involved in political campaigns, being able to travel to colleges that I would never even considered because they seemed out of my reach. I was exposed to social issues that had changed my perspective on how I see the world and has made me socially conscious about the different social stigmas that exist within communities. Leaders in Training has instilled in me the core values: advocacy, grit, connectivity, perseverance, and confidence. It is incredible to see these values persist in my life and how they are applicable. I was once the one being mentored in this program and now that I am in college I am able to provide resources and advice for younger students in the program. I hope to see Leaders in Training expand and help other first generation students.
Leaders in Training needs funds to expand the program, so that we can bridge this educational inequity and provide opportunities for a larger population of students who need these resources. I believe in the power of education and how it can change the society that we live in. Leaders in Training is a prime example that has shown the possibilities for 1st generation high school students like myself that college is possible. East Las Vegas has a higher rate of students dropping out of high school than graduating and these students live in a state with one of the worst education systems in the US, there needs be equity and it needs to be now. With the possible expansion of Leaders in Training, we would be able to help more students and grow our community outreach."