Logan Placencia went to pick up her sister from basketball practice. Normally, Placencia waited in the car for her sister until practice ended. But for some reason, this particular time, she walked into the gymnasium and watched the end of practice.
Her best friend’s father coached the team at the time, and they started talking. Out of nowhere, he mentioned a scholarship opportunity he knew about through some contacts of his that might interest her.
“He asked me if I was Mexican,” said Placencia, an elementary education
major from Auburn, Ind., who will graduate in 2012. “I was like ‘Yeah.’ He then told me he knew of a scholarship I could apply for and put me in touch with the Auburn Youth for Christ director.”
Ever since her junior year of high school, Placencia knew she wanted to attend Huntington University. After visiting five to six times, she fell in love with the people, the location and the programs Huntington offered. But deadlines and finances almost kept her from her dream school.
“I knew it was a great opportunity,” Placencia said. “I felt nervous though because I did not get a chance to interview with Huntington until March or April of my senior year of high school.”
But thankfully, Placencia got connected with HU – and the Horizon Leadership Program.
Huntington University and Youth for Christ created the Horizon Leadership Program with the goal of developing a more racially and ethnically diverse campus. The Horizon Leadership Program encourages the holistic development of student leaders through community service, academic success, professional/leadership development, spiritual development and social development. Students enrolled in the program are required to maintain 2.5 grade point average, meet with the director of the program weekly and volunteer at the Primetime Center in Fort Wayne.
Huntington University and Youth for Christ implemented the program during the fall of 2008. Placencia and the rest of the student members have worked together to build the program from scratch.
“Our mission is to increase diversity on campus and also to hopefully decrease any stereotypes or prejudices through conversations, discussions and events,” Placencia said.
Once the students receive the scholarship, the Horizon Leadership Program expects the students to pursue leadership roles and not to “float through college.”
“I think this program helps give our younger siblings and other people who might think that attending a university like HU is out of reach something to look forward to,” Placencia said. “Without the Horizon Leadership Program, I would not have gone to Mexico this past J-term for my multicultural practicum. I have always wanted to learn Spanish and teach Spanish-speaking students, and thanks to the Horizon Leadership Program, I got the chance to be here at Huntington to pursue that.”
Placencia appreciates how the Horizon Leadership Program helped her receive a memorable college experience. Because of their mission, she found some of her best friends, enjoyed living with a wonderful roommate, joined service clubs and events such as Fall Work Day and Kappa Delta Pi and lived on a wonderful floor of girls her freshman year.
“I love walking down the ‘mall’ when it’s warm and seeing all the people throwing Frisbees, playing games, doing homework in the grass on a blanket with friends and immersing myself in the community of Huntington,” Placencia said. “I don’t think I could be at HU without the Horizon Leadership Program.”
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