I’ve been talking with some peeps about a leadership scholarship I am starting at my high school. They asked me to pass it on to them when it was complete…so I figured, I might as well share it publicly and hopefully inspire others to do something similar.

My alma mater, Northwest High School is an interesting one: a big school with over 2300 kids and lots of really good people, but like a lot of small towns, it’s pretty hard to see how big the world really is, and what opportunities may be out there.

I can vividly remember seeing a poster hanging in the hallway just before my graduation saying “Where is the Class of 2000 Going?” and 4 year university accounted for less than 15% of my class, well behind Junior College and Work. I had a pretty decent resume when I graduated, and the most ambitious schools I even thought about were Saint Louis University (where I ultimately went) and Washington University…both good schools here in St Louis, but there definitely isn’t any ivy growing on the buildings.

We can only know what we can see. I hope by taking my story “back home” it may inspire someone…who then in turn may inspire someone else. So, with that, here is the scholarship application that seniors from the class of 2020 for Northwest High School will soon be completing:

When I reflect upon my 13 years in Northwest schools, I clearly see that Student Council, team sports, and other student organizations created a strong foundation for my future. The things that all these activities at Northwest had in common is that they allowed me to learn and practice the fundamentals of leadership.

Leadership is a nebulous thing that means different things to different people. But to me, leadership is a verb, not a noun. It’s not something you are. It’s something you do. It is the act of aligning and inspiring a group of people to do something greater together than they would have been able to do on their own.

John Quincy Adams also put it well, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.”

I believe there are a lot of people in the Northwest district who don’t have the role models, sight lines, or vision to know what they are truly capable of doing and becoming. If we are able to unleash just a small percentage of the latent potential inside these overlooked underdogs, their light would illuminate the world.

That’s why we created this Empowergizing Leadership scholarship. Its purpose is to develop more great leader role models, to show what graduates of Northwest High School are capable of and actually are doing, to inspire others to see higher and be better than they ever thought possible, and to create a virtuous cycle of bigger dreams and aspirations.

This will be different than any other scholarship application you’ve ever applied for…and that’s on purpose.

Tell me a story on how you displayed great leadership. How you aligned and inspired a group of people to do something impactful. How you got them to become more…to do more than they (or even you) thought possible.

Use whatever modality (writing, audio, video, pictures, etc, etc) you are most comfortable with and feel will best express your story, and submit it to me at dweber@goBRANDgo.com by March 31st.

$1500 + $500 Scholarship Award

Year 1: $1500 

Year 2: $500: Awarded once you come back to NHS, share a story about new lessons learned on your leadership journey, and then tell me about the story and your experience sharing it.

Good leaders make you believe they are great and capable of anything.

Great leaders make you believe you are great and capable of anything.

Go inspire. Go motivate. Go help others do something great together.

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