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OJC Press Release ID: 2633

Monday, March 27, 2017

OJC’s President’s Leadership Program accepting scholarship applications

Calling all leaders!  The President’s Leadership Program (PLP) at Otero Junior College is currently accepting applications for the 2017-18 academic year.  Scholars are selected through a competitive process for the program. Annual scholarships of $1000 will be awarded to up to 20 scholars.  To apply online visit  The deadline for scholarships at OJC this year is April 1.

Samme Ormiston, a member of the OJC business technologies faculty is directing the leadership program. According to Ormiston, the goal of the 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.

The Certificate in Leadership Studies includes 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.
2). 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 120 hours of service learning experiences each. “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. 

According to David Olatunji, a current PLP member, “I have truly loved the service learning experience. It has given me the opportunity to learn more about the community and interact with people that I normally would not encounter on a daily basis. It has 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 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 average is recommended.   Scholars must have the intent to earn an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Science Degree at OJC. A minimum of 20 scholars will be accepted each year into the program.

All scholars will be chosen based upon:
•    Completed written 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 member Kayla Valdez says, “My advice to those interested in the program would be, APPLY, APPLY, APPLY! Take that step in growing. Choosing to apply has been 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, .

Press Release Photo
The 2016-2017 President’s Leadership Program scholars invite graduating high school students and OJC students continuing next year to apply for the President’s Leadership Program for the 2017-2018 academic year.