Asbury receives $10,000 leadership program grant

Published 7:31 pm Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Asbury University Report

Asbury University has received a $10,000 grant from the Chatlos Foundation funding the Emerging Leader-Scholar program — a scholarship program that empowers and encourages U.S. ethnic students to become leaders on campus and in their future careers.

In addition to offering a $5,000 scholarship to high-achieving U.S. ethnic students, the Emerging Leader-Scholar program includes a significant mentorship component, as well as leadership opportunities across campus. 

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Learn more about scholarships and grants at Asbury. 

“We are so grateful to the Chatlos Foundation for this expression of confidence in Asbury’s Emerging Leader-Scholar Program,” said Mark Troyer, vice president for Institutional Advancement and Strategic Partnerships at Asbury. “The program is transformative — not only for our Leader-Scholars, but also for the students they interact with around campus. Thanks to this generous gift, we look forward to even more impact in years to come.”

Erieka Smith ’17 is one recent graduate — currently earning her Master of Social Work at Asbury — whose life has been impacted by the Emerging Leader-Scholar program. Smith says the program not only provided financial assistance that allowed her to attend Asbury; it also opened her eyes to her leadership gifts and gave her opportunities to use them.

“I benefited from the requirement to be a leader on campus, to make change, to be a positive representative of my culture and background,” Smith said. “It encouraged me to speak up and be a source of unity and community with fellow Asburians who might not have had much interaction with students from other backgrounds.” 

Smith held multiple leadership roles at Asbury, serving as a Spiritual Life Assistant, president of the Black Student Association and student worker on campus. During four years at Asbury, she met regularly with other members of the Emerging Leader-Scholar program — led by Intercultural Programs Director Esther Jadhav — and together, they honed leadership skills and encouraged each other to “stand up and stand out.” 

“The program emphasizes that it’s okay to stand out — celebrate those differences, and celebrate similarities also,” Smith said. “In those differences, don’t be ashamed. Celebrate them; talk about them; learn to communicate. This program teaches you skills that will last a lifetime. It’s not just something you do in college. It’s something you can take with you for a lifetime.”