The LEAD Scholars Academy hosted the 8th annual Lead Out Loud Leadership Summit on February 27. This one-day conference provided students with the opportunity to gain skills and explore topics that will prepare them to be leaders on campus.

The event is held each year in conjunction with the Lead Out Loud semester-long program for third and fourth year students. The goal of the program is to “empower students to succeed, embrace diversity, strengthen life skills, and develop purpose with the expectation these tenets will promote multicultural students towards graduation” and these goals shaped the summit experience.

The event was kicked off with an inspiring keynote address from Anthony Jenkins, the senior associate vice president and Dean of Students for Student Development and Enrollment Services, urging students to move beyond their comfort zones and strive towards excellence throughout and beyond their college careers. Vivian Ortiz, director of Assessment, Development, and Grants, led a thought provoking workshop about the differences between racism, prejudice, and oppression. Students then had an opportunity to attend various breakout sessions on topics, such as health, relationships and spirituality.

Orlando community professionals were invited as panelists to discuss their journeys and the challenges they have faced within their careers. “I am a Legal Studies major and one of the most inspiring parts for me was hearing Professor Irene Pons speak about her journey into the legal profession,” stated Jacqueline Johnson. “Her story about facing hardships early on and still overcoming the obstacles in her way encouraged me to persevere through daunting task of applying to, and ultimately attending, law school.”

The summit provided various opportunities for students to further their personal, professional, and leadership growth at UCF and beyond.