The LEAD Scholars Academy celebrated their 20th year with an anniversary celebration and open house on Sept. 10, 2015. Students, faculty and staff enjoyed a program including words from President John C. Hitt, Vice President Maribeth Ehasz Student Development, and two students.

More than 3,300 students have officially graduated from LEAD Scholars Academy and are UCF alumni. LEAD Scholars Academy was initially created in 1995 as a leadership development program for incoming first year students. Today, LEAD Scholars Academy offers academic classes, co-curricular opportunities and events for FTIC and transfer students.

Amy Maitner, senior Advertising/Public Relations major, was one of the students who spoke to the audience. Maitner completed the two year academic program and is now a member of the Inspire Women’s Leadership Program-one of the Academy’s new third and fourth year tracks.

Maitner said, “Inspire created a community of empowerment for young college women, and we would meet throughout the semester to talk about a range of topics—anything from current trends and their effect on women to Emma Watson’s UN Speech. LEAD Scholars has helped me hone my leadership skills as a whole and connect further with the UCF community. I can thank LEAD for helping me become a member of the President’s Leadership Council, and I know that I am prepared for the adventures that lie ahead.”

Julien Meyer, UCF Class of 2014, stated, “LEAD taught me so much about servant leadership and the power of networking that I developed these skills to a point where they became second nature. Learning to inspire and motivate others through the program has proven to be my most valuable skill as a leader in the business world.”

LEAD Scholars Academy is located in Ferrell Commons 165 and includes two multi-purpose rooms, a study space and social areas for students.