Scholarship opportunity through Otero Junior College’s President’s Leadership Program due April 1

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Published Saturday, March 13, 2021

The President's Leadership Program (PLP) at Otero Junior College is currently accepting applications for the 2021-22 academic year.  Scholarships may be awarded to leadership scholars who are selected through a competitive process for the program.  To apply online visit  The deadline for scholarships at OJC this year is April 1.  Students admitted to the PLP program qualify for annual scholarships of up to $1000/year.

Samme Ormiston, a member of the OJC business faculty is directing the leadership program. According to Ormiston, the goal of PLP is to develop and train emerging leaders at Otero Junior College through an academic leadership program that is focused on field experience, service and experiential learning. Students accepted into the program will earn an academic Certificate in Leadership Studies in conjunction with an associate's degree.

Students in any major degree area that are interested in building leadership skills are encouraged to apply.  The Certificate in Leadership Studies comprises 12-credit hours of study that includes two 3-credit hour core leadership courses and two additional elective courses from a wide-variety of academic programs on campus.  The required 3-credit leadership core courses taught by Ormiston will include: 

  1. Management 224: Leadership - offered during Fall Semester.
  1. Management 287: Cooperative Education/Leadership - offered during Spring Semester.

"In addition to earning a Certificate in Leadership Studies at OJC, we have also 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," said Ormiston.

The second aspect of the Leadership Certificate is service-learning experience. "The program places an emphasis on community service and civic engagement in order to help scholars develop a social awareness, civic responsibility and interconnectedness," explained Ormiston.  Students benefit greatly from the service aspect of the program.  PLP alum David Olatunji said, "I truly loved the service-learning experience. 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 experiential learning activities. PLP scholars will learn about leadership through numerous hands-on experiences. Experiences will vary each year and could include such activities such as 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 of reputable sources," said Ormiston.  

Scholarship selection is 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 average is recommended.   Scholars must have the intent to earn an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Science Degree at OJC.  All scholars are chosen based upon the following items:

  • Completed online application that includes an essay question and examples of leadership and service experiences
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • High School or college unofficial transcripts
  • Personal interview

PLP alum Kayla Valdez says, "My advice to those interested in the program would be, APPLY, APPLY, APPLY! 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:  Samme Ormiston, President's Leadership Program Director, 1802 Colorado Ave., La Junta, CO  81050, 719-384-6850, may earn an affiliate commission if you purchase products or services through links in an article. Prices, when displayed, are accurate at the time of publication but may change over time. Commissions do not influence editorial independence.

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