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Olivet College will honor six students with the John W. Porter Community Responsibility Scholarship at the 23rd annual Leadership for Individual and Social Responsibility Awards Dinner on May 15. Students were selected for demonstrating individual and social responsibility through their involvement and service to the College and their community.

Recipients include rising junior Kyrie Bostic, a sociology/anthropology major from Detroit; rising senior Diangelo Carlton, a business administration major from Detroit; rising senior Bryan Collins, an exercise science major from Inkster; rising senior Jillian Johnson, a psychology major from Lansing; rising junior Yul Snell, a criminal justice major from Westland; and rising junior Samantha Torres, a criminal justice major from Lansing.

The Drive to Make an Impact

Samantha is a member of the women’s track and field and soccer teams and the Criminal Justice Honor Society. She also serves as a resident adviser and has attended College-organized service trips. Samantha plans to use these experiences to work as a detective with the Michigan State Police.

“It is honesty an honor to be selected as a Porter Scholar,” Samantha said. “It will help me financially to further my academic career. I made my family really proud sharing this news. I never expected it.

“In Tennessee, I was part of a group who rebuilt a veteran’s home, and in Florida, we focused on hurricane relief efforts. These opportunities have really opened my eyes to see just how much someone can do for others and the impact we do have on others’ lives. Working as a team to accomplish something good was my favorite part, and it showed me that you need a team to reach your goals.

“These experiences are getting me ready for the real world and opening my mind to new points of view. I love helping people, and I have a goal to help people and make an impact now and in my career.”

Samantha notes her positive outlook on life and mission to make a difference has been influenced by her sister, Jessica, and Residence Hall Director Kelly Patmore ’14.

Leaders Give. Leaders Serve.

Yul echoes many of Samantha’s sentiments. He is a member of the football team and the Criminal Justice Honor Society and serves as a resident adviser, too. After graduation, Yul is interested in working in border patrol or with the Federal Air Marshal Service or Drug Enforcement Administration.

“I was shocked to hear I had been selected for the scholarship,” Yul said. “I didn’t even know about it until Provost Maria Davis, Ph.D., mentioned it to me. I feel like a great leader gives back to the community. Great leaders are selfless; they want to help others through their position.

“Since seventh or eighth grade, I’ve worked with my family to pass out warm clothes, food and personal care items to the homeless. I also enjoy reading to local students here in Olivet and talking with football recruits. I have goals to continue community service at OC and to keep making a difference.”

Yul credits Phil Reed, associate professor of criminal justice and director of Campus Safety, and Regina Armstrong, Ph.D., director of the criminal justice program and associate professor of criminal justice, with providing an interesting and supportive learning environment.

It Takes Passion

Jillian has a goal to make the most of her college journey, and she’s doing just that as president of Psi Chi, the honor society for psychology students, and the Nu Gamma Xi sorority. She’s also a Lansing Promise scholar and is engaged with leadership programs on campus and much more.

“Earning this scholarship makes me grateful for what others have given and it reminds me why I chose to attend Olivet,” Jillian said. “There are so many great people here, and I am part of a supportive network. I am still benefitting and growing through my mentors. College isn’t about just learning the coursework; it’s about becoming the person who I want to be. I can’t do that anywhere else. Olivet has allowed me to make my dreams come true.

“Being a leader means being accountable for your actions and others’ actions. I used to think my parents were very strict, but I’m thankful for that now because I have strong values and know how to stay on track to do the right thing. My family is also my motivation and inspiration to serve others. They have sacrificed so much for me to be where I am, and I am thankful to have these opportunities to make them proud.

“Everybody needs someone. If I can be that someone, that makes my day.”

John W. Porter Community Responsibility Scholarship Roots

In 1969, Dr. Porter was unanimously selected State Superintendent of Public Education by the Michigan Board of Education. At 38, he was the youngest chief state officer and the first black state school superintendent in the nation. From 1979 to 1989, Dr. Porter served as president of Eastern Michigan University. From 1989 to 1991, he served as the general superintendent for Detroit Public Schools. During his tenure, the district went from having a $160 million deficit and unbalanced budget to a $35 million surplus.

In 2001, Dr. Porter was awarded the Olivet College Leadership in Individual and Social Responsibility Award for his commitment to Olivet’s educational philosophy of individual and social responsibility. In gratitude of this honor, he established an endowed scholarship for current students at Olivet College who demonstrate leadership and community involvement.

In addition to the Porter Scholars, three Michigan business leaders will be honored at the Leadership Awards Dinner. Honorees include Erik Larson ’97, executive director of Impression 5 Science Center; Joan Nelson, executive director of the Allen Neighborhood Center; and Linda Lee Tarver, Th.D., president of the Republican Women’s Federation of Michigan.

For more information about Olivet College, contact the Office of Admissions at 800-456-7189 or admissions@olivetcollege.edu.

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