Being a Peer Advisor in the LEAP program was one of the most beneficial and defining experiences I have had as a student at the University of Utah. Not only did I gain invaluable assets during my time as a Peer Advisor, but this experience also served as a springboard that allowed me to become involved in numerous other campus and community activities.
During my time as a peer advisor I expansively augmented my education through increasing my network of friends, peers, and faculty/mentors, as well as through honing and developing my leadership skills. Constantly interacting with other peer advisors and LEAP faculty allowed me to create a web of contacts that I am still closely connected with today, and that more importantly has strengthened and supported me in innumerable ways. On top of this, the responsibilities that my professor gave me as a Peer Advisor induced me to cultivate and greatly improve my leadership abilities.
Through leading discussions in class, organizing study groups, coordinating a food drive for the LEAP program, and serving as an ambassador between students and faculty, I was able to more fully develop and mature as a student leader. As I was able to do this, the Peer Advisor program then enabled me to move on to other positions, including interning in the President of the University’s office as well as interning for the Republican National Committee in Washington D.C.
I could not more strongly recommend this program and the opportunities that it provides. So, if you are lucky enough to be a Peer Advisor, I suggest you take full advantage of the position you are in and work closely with, and be willing to learn from, your professor, the students in your class, and the other peer advisors in order to make the most of this great opportunity.
As a LEAP Student my freshman year in college and as a peer advisor in both successive years I cannot say enough about the LEAP Program and how it has benefited me. Over the three years I spent with the LEAP program I have been able to watch myself grow as not only a student, but as a person. LEAP taught me that it was ok to create bonds with your classmates and that school can be enjoyable. Most importantly, however, it taught me that you could also get to know your professor on a personal level.
As a freshman I created bonds with both the students in my class and my professor Dr. Ownby. This was a class where students came early and stayed late. This was a group who supported each other both in the classroom and outside, and cared more about the collective group as a community, than for themselves individually. This was family: This was LEAP.
I returned to LEAP my sophomore and junior years as a Peer Advisor for Dr. Ownby’s class with a conscious effort to create the same environment within the class. Although it was my job to be my students’ advisor, I learned more from them than I ever had imagined possible. I learned that you have to be willing to make mistakes, and take ownership for those mistakes. I learned that all students need encouragement, and all students appreciate a little recognition. I learned that my attitude as an individual would reflect in the attitude of my students. I learned that optimism and enthusiasm is catching, and it is possible to have fun in everything you do. As a Peer Advisor, I learned. Although this short little summary of my experience in LEAP can give you an idea of the LEAP program, LEAP is an experience that must be felt, in order to be learned.