By: Liz Koblyk and Jeffrey Low
Self-doubt has a cost. When it comes to student awards, the cost can be expressed in dollars.
So, let’s do the math. By setting aside your self-doubt and applying for the Wilson Leadership Scholar Award (WLSA), you could get up to $25,000 and an opportunity to join an active and inspiring community of leaders committed to making change.
Build leadership skills to launch your career
Beyond being a generous financial award, the WLSA is a leadership-development program that can help you build your career’s foundation.
What came to mind when you read that last sentence? That the WLSA’s a multi-faceted and rewarding opportunity? That it could help you accomplish things that matter to you? That it must be meant for someone other than you?
All of the Wilson Leaders have had similar thoughts.
“If you’re feeling doubt, a lot of others [are] probably feeling the same; I know I definitely did, and still do at times,” shares Kwasi Adu-Poku, Wilson Leader, McMaster undergrad, varsity basketball player and three-time Academic All-Canadian. “Win or lose, tackling this doubt is a leadership building opportunity in itself — and this one might just win you $25,000.”
Join a community of inspiring leaders
Because they took a risk, these award recipients gained access to individually-selected mentors, guest presenters, problem-based learning sessions on topics of national importance and a community of like-minded peers. This support system, Adu-Poku shares, is even more valuable than the financial reward.
According to Alyssia Jovellanos, product manager at Microsoft, hackathon co-founder, McMaster grad and former Wilson Leader, “[the WLSA community] helped me better understand myself and inspired me to continuously strive for growth. Every single person from the WLSA, whether it be other fellows, directors, mentors or event fellow applicants, were (and still are) fantastic. This is a community for life.”
Take action and commit to your goals
Wilson Leaders spend approximately 15 hours per month from September to November and January to March actively participating in the program. Leaders get to start making an impact and inspiring change through rewarding project work.
Your time is valuable, but this commitment is a great way to hold yourself accountable to your goals and get as much as possible out of the program and the experiences it enables. For example, former Wilson Leaders got a chance to participate in a private meeting with a former prime minister.
Feeling unsure? It doesn’t hurt to apply anyway
Applying for awards like the WLSA is a great way to take full advantage of your university experience through valuable supports.
You may be thinking, “What happens if I don’t win the award?” Students who applied but didn’t win have said it was still worth their while because they used the work they put into their applications for other opportunities.
Jovellanos notes, “the process of applying alone helped me learn so much more about myself and my goals, much faster than I could have on my own. It’s a fantastic opportunity for exploration and growth, and everything compounds.”
For more information on why you should apply for the award, including advice from Adu-Poku, Jovellanos and more members of the Wilson Leader community, tune in to these upcoming Instagram Lives on the @MacSSC account:
- November 23, 1:00 p.m.
- November 27, 12:30 p.m.
- December 3, 12:30 p.m.
Lastly, it may seem corny, but the old saying is still true — you’ll never know if you don’t try.
The WLSA is open to graduate and undergraduate McMaster students (Canadian citizens) who are willing to commit 15 hours a month from September to November and January to March. For more information on eligibility, visit the WLSA website.
- Undergraduate students: January 25, 2021, 11:59 p.m. EST
- Graduate students: March 29, 2021, 11:59 EST