STUDENT Leader Spotlight

The LEAD Scholars Academy is proud to introduce our student leaders for the 2016-2017 school year! These leaders, serving on either the LEAD Students Association (LSA) or Leadership Excellence Board (LEB) dedicate countless hours to the marketing, recruitment and selection of  next class of LEAD Scholars, as well as hosting various community, networking and social events!

Faith Burns

Introducing Faith Burns, a Phsycology and Spanish Major, who is currently serving as LEB Executive Director!

Hear from Faith, our final 2016-2017 Student Leader, here:

As Leadership Excellence Board Executive Director, Faith Burns is "responsible for leading a Board that consists of six individuals in the recruitment, application and transition process for incoming LEAD Scholars." In addition, Faith is "also the director for the LEAD Aspiring Leaders Committee. This committee was recently established with the goal of assisting current LEAD Scholars in the preparation of applying for and taking on future leadership roles within UCF."

Burns loves to tell the story of her favorite LEAD memory, the moment when she discovered she'd been selected to be the LEB Executive Director for 2016-2017. "I walked into the LEAD Lounge around 4:30 PM that afternoon, and proceeded to chat with two of my closest friends, both of whom were position holders for LEB and LSA and who knew what was about to happen. At 5:00 PM the previous LEB Executive Director, Amelia Gallo, announced that the LEAD Lounge was closed and left the room. As I got up to gather my items my phone rang; Amelia was calling me. When I answered the phone I intended to make a joke, as I thought she was messing with me; however, immediately upon answering she began talking in a very professional tone and, as she re-entered the room, she proceeded to inform me that I had been seleced to be the next LEB Exec. Upon hearing this news I screamed, ran up to her and began crying in her arms. If you don’t believe me, check out my Instagram- there are pictures to prove it. This will forever be a defining moment for me as a leader, as well as one of my favorite moments in my experiences in the LEAD Scholars Academy."

One of Faith's favorite things to do in the Orlando area is "visit Universal Studios with my friends and/or boyfriend and his family." Anyone who meets Burns will learn fairly quickly that she's "a die hard Harry Potter fan, and walking into Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade nearly takes [her] breath away every time. Plus, the roller coasters are super fun, and it’s a great place to make memories with the ones you love!"

The biggest obstacle Faith has encountered with her position is self-care. "In everything I do with my position in LEAD, as well as the work I do with a different department in UCF, it can be easy to forget to take care of myself and my personal life. In fact, at the beginning of the year I would sit in the LEAD Lounge for 4 or more hours on specific days to get work done. It wasn’t until Tava Bingham reminded me of the importance of self-care, that I realized how unhealthy my actions were, and how they were negatively impacting me. Since that conversation I have worked to set aside time for myself and the things I enjoy throughout the week. For me, spending time with my boyfriend and friends AND/OR watching Netflix became a reprieve for me from my hectic schedule."

Faith shares that, without a doubt, she looks up to "Isabelle Klein, Leadership Development Director, and Matt Chisholm, Athletics Director. One of the things we were all encouraged to do by our predecessors was to 'make the positions our own', and these two and their actions in the year thus far embody that statement."

Burns shares that "Isabelle began working diligently on her position back in May, and since that time has put together a week full of events, guest speakers, promo items and much more! Isabelle took Leadership Week, a promotional leadership week-long event, and put her own spin on it; the result being Leadership Week 2017-Fantastic Leaders and Where to Find Them. It has been an honor to assist Isabelle in bringing this vision to life, and I am so excited to see how this university-wide event turns out."

Another notable leader in Faith's eyes is "Matt Chisholm, who went above and beyond in creating an inclusive and fun atmosphere for his athletics committee members and all LEAD Scholars, not to mention doing more with his position than any previous Athletics Director. By meeting with UCF Athletics on numerous occasions, Matt has facilitated a great relationship with this area of the university. As a result of Matt’s efforts, LEAD students have had the opportunity to walk the flags onto the football field before a game, meet with university officials alongside Matt during lunches or other meetings and so much more! In addition, Matt’s never wavering positive attitude has contributed to the sense of enthusiasm that exists among the first year LEAD Scholars, and it’s infectious! "

When asked if she could have any other position within the LEAD Scholars Academy, Faith replied that she wouldn’t want one. "I believe that every member of LEB or LSA is well suited for his or her position. While most Board members have one specific area in which they specialize, LEB Exec has been a dream come true for me, as I’ve had the opportunity to contribute to multiple areas of the Academy rather than focus on just one."

To conclude, if Burns could have dinner with anyone it would be J.K. Rowling so that she could "thank her for bringing the Wizarding World of Harry Potter into my life. In addition, I’d love to hear more about her inspiration for the characters and the storyline. "