Otero Junior College President's Leadership Program accepting scholarship applications

Ken Hamrick
LA Junta Tribune
The President's Leadership Program (PLP) at Otero Junior College is currently accepting applications for the 2021-22 academic year. The deadline for scholarships at OJC this year is April 1.

Otero Junior College is accepting applications for the President's Leadership Program (PLP) for the 2021-22 academic year.

Scholarships may be awarded to leadership scholars who are selected through a competitive process for the program. Registration is online at OJC's school website. The deadline is April 1.

Samme Ormiston, a member of the OJC business faculty is directing the leadership program.

The goal of the PLP is to develop and train emerging leaders at OJC through an academic leadership program that is focused on field experience, service and experimental learning, according to Ormiston. Students accepted into the program will earn an academic certificate in Leadership Studies in conjunction with an associate's degree.

This certificate is compiled of 12 credit hours of study which includes two three-credit hour core leadership courses and two additional elective courses from a wide variety of academic programs on campus.

The three-credit leadership core courses taught by Ormiston will include Management 224 — leadership which is offered during the fall semester, and Management 287 — Cooperative Education/Leadership which is offered during the spring semester.

"In addition to earning a certificate in Leadership Studies at OJC, we have been able to align our program with similar programs at four-year colleges in Colorado, thus creating the opportunity for students to seamlessly transfer into those programs and minor in leadership after leaving OJC," Ormiston said.

The second part of the Leadership Certificate is service learning experience.

"The program places an emphasis on community service and civic responsibility and interconnectedness," Ormiston said.

"I truly loved the service learning experience," said PLP alumnus David Olatunji. "It gave me the opportunity to learn more about the community and interact with people that I normally would not encounter on a daily basis. It also enhanced my discipline and work ethic."

Scholars have ample opportunity to participate in experimental learning activities, and they will learn about leadership through numerous hands-on experiences.

These experiences will vary each year and could include such activities like annual leadership workshops and conferences, lectures from recognized leaders and opportunities for leadership positions on campus and in the community.

"This year members had the opportunity to work with leaders from across the nation and have learned valuable life lessons from a variety on reputable sources," Ormiston said.

Scholarship selection will be based on leadership potential, intellectual curiosity, commitment to something outside one's self and successful interview participation.

A minimum of a 3.2 cumulative high school or college grade-point is recommended. Scholars must have the intent to earn an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree at OJC.

All scholars will be chosen based upon a completed online application which includes an essay question and examples of leadership and service experiences, two letters of recommendation, high school or college unofficial transcripts and a personal interview.

"My advice to those interested in the program would be apply, apply, apply," said PLP alumna Kayla Valdez. "Take that step in growing, Choosing to apply was one of the best decisions ever. PLP is not only a place to learn new leadership skills and create a new family, but it also allows you to be heard and use your voice."

For more information contact Ormiston at 1802 Colorado Ave., La Junta, Colo. 81050, (719) 384-6850 or Samme.Ormiston@ojc.edu.

Tribune-Democrat reporter Ken Hamrick can be reached by email atKHamrick1@gannett.com. Help support local journalism by subscribing to the La Junta Tribune-Democrat at lajuntatribunedemocrat.com/subscribenow.