The Lead Out Loud program offered through the LEAD Scholars Academy strives to “empower students to succeed, embrace diversity, strengthen life skills and encourage positional leadership in [Multicultural] students at UCF.”

The 7th annual Lead Out Loud Summit intended to do just that. The event included sessions about working in student affairs, attending graduate school, being an ally, personal branding, and investigating through research.

One presenter, Jazmin Armstrong, coordinator for LEAD Scholars Academy, spoke about terms like “colorism,” “blackish” and “white-washed” that came out of a history of slavery and oppression.

Ambassador Harriet Elam-Thomas, director for UCF’s Diplomacy Program presented “The Pebble in the Pond – Why You Matter in the Global Landscape.” Rosa Cintrón, assistant professor for the College of Education, presented “’Umbrella,’ ‘Hold You Down,’ Mentors and Networks: Ain’t All The Same!”

Xavier Quinones, freshman environmental engineering major, stated that Elam-Thomas’ session, “opened my eyes to the global landscape.” He also said Cintró’s presentation “was applicable to both leadership and his personal life.”

Hilario Ciprian, freshman criminal justice major, agrees with Quinones. He learned from the session that “some people may be holding you down in a negative way and you may not need those people in your lives.” He also said that he’s going to start cutting those who bring him down out of his life.

Germayne Graham, associate director for LEAD Scholars Academy, helped coordinate this year’s event. She and Edwanna Andrews, director for Social Justice and Advocacy, started the Lead Out Loud program seven years ago when multicultural students were coming to the office saying they were looking for leadership opportunities specific to minority students. Over the years, the program evolved from a retreat to include a student-driven summit. “They tell us what they want and need, and we try to provide it,” said Graham.

LEAD Scholar Academy is a department of the Division of Student Development and Enrollment Services.