Mark's Story

Getting the call early in the morning had left me speechless. I did not know how to respond at that moment. PLA was something that I have dreamt of receiving and did not have much hope it would come. It was such an honor to me because it has prepared me so well for the next stage of my life being college. I thought of myself as a strong leader and having the skills that a leader should possess because I was highly involved in the community and in high school. I did not think that there was much more I needed to know in being a leader but PLA has taught me differently. In the summer program this year, I was able to learn about different leadership types, qualities, and how what it means to be a true leader. I also was able to find out a lot of things about myself as a human that I never knew. I was able to address my strengths and see what input I give to a group. This was only one of the ideas that PLA has taught me and had an influence on me. Besides different leadership qualities, it has taught me how to be a good team member and how to work well with others in a variety of group settings. All of these skills will come into play as I further my college career. Many people who began college do not have a background coming in and do not know what the workload will be like. They come into school and are opened to a culture shock, as it is a new world here. By attending the summer program, I was already introduced to the workload and what college is like with all the distractions. The biggest impact that PLA has had on me thus far is the skills I learned in time management. I was able to come and attend a time management class that showed me different ways to manage small amounts of free time along with your everyday schedule. It is a very good tool to know and these skills will make me successful in my life in the future. Overall, the PLA program has showed me many different skills and ideas that can help me be successful in my life. I know that there will be much more to come and I am so grateful that I have been able to receive this amazing award and experience.