Meet the Class of 2019 Leadership Fellows
Bridgette Agbozo was born in Greensboro, NC, but lived in Ghana, where her family is originally from. She graduated from Greensboro College Middle College, where she was able to experience college classes before she even turned eighteen. During the last two years of high school, she became heavily involved in service-learning and social justice. The summer before her junior year, she attended a flagship summer program run by the National Conference for Community and Justice of the Piedmont Triad, an organization which fights bias, bigotry, and racism. She participated in facilitator training and was even featured on a local television segment through the organization. During her senior year of high school, she started P.R.I.D.E., a diversity and inclusion club at her high school. She also began to advocate for students in her district through the Superintendent of Education’s Student Advisory Council. Through the Council, she was able to give a student’s perspective on potential initiatives in her district. She also served fellow peers and found her love of service-learning through the Guilford County Schools Service-Learning Youth Council. She was able to meet students across the district, lead initiatives, and learn how to teach others about service-learning. She was also able to present at a national conference in Washington, D.C., on youth engagement within service-learning. She plans on majoring in marketing and minoring in leadership studies and possibly sociology. Along with being a leadership fellow, she is also a Thad Eure Scholar in the Odyssey Scholars Program. She plans on being involved in alternative break, Arabic Language Organization, Black Student Union, Elon Volunteers, and First-Year Summer Experience, among other organizations.
"A leader sees greatness in other people. He nor she can be much of a leader if all she sees is herself." –Maya Angelou
Warren Barrett, also called Reny, is from Baltimore, MD. He attended Loyola Blakefield High school in Towson. He is a policy studies major and is a sitting student senator for the Class of 2019. He enjoys skiing, cornhole, and many other outdoor activities. In high school, he was president of a social justice club and a captain of the football team. He started the strings club in high school which was a club that promoted playing string instruments in a group setting as there was no orchestra in his high school. He participated and lead many service trips to areas in downtown Baltimore, MD and Camden, NJ.
"Never bunt." –Kent Murphy
Hannah Benson grew up in Bedford, NH where she graduated with a diploma of distinction from Bedford High School in their class of 2015. In high school, she held many leadership roles such as being production editor-in-chief for her school’s newspaper, a member of the National Honor Society, her class representative in the International Thespian Society, a delegate of the National Art Honor Society, and a participant in the Coalition for Bedford Youth. Additionally, Hannah was awarded the Presidential Community service award her junior year for completing over 150 hours of local service. She expanded her passion for journalism by launching her own local news show, for which she did everything from anchor on-screen to produce behind the scenes, and had the program aired on local television on weeknights, as well as maintaining a permanent home base online. She worked alongside the superintendent as well as local administrators, staff and students to cover a wide range of stories in her town. She dedicated much of her remaining time to the performing arts, not only through participation in many local productions, but in choreographing for local children’s theaters within her school district and in nearby cities, and through membership to New Hampshire’s only comedy improv troupe, Technical Difficulties of Nashua, NH. In addition, she was named New Hampshire’s Best Supporting Youth Actress in 2013 for a role she played in the musical Urinetown, and then returned the following year to host the annual ceremony. Hannah sees it as her mission to attain a community where every person, regardless of denomination, origin, or values, has an equal representation. She looks forward to making vast strides towards this type of society with the help of the Elon family and Leadership Fellows team.
“I am big enough to admit that I am often inspired by myself.” –Leslie Knope
Jason Brunette was born in Fairfax, VA before moving to Costa Rica four years later. At the age of seven, he moved back into his home in Sterling, VA. While enrolled at Potomac Falls High School, he was heavily involved in both varsity track and club track all four years. Through club track, he found his mentor, Nick Savage, with whom he became heavily involved with in community volunteer projects such as organizing the Leesburg Aviation Expo, which grants scholarships to students looking to study aviation engineering in college. One of his proudest accomplishments came from helping establish the first national Civil War memorial along the Route 15 bypass. In high school he was president of the Rho Kappa honor society, co-founder of the Ultimate Frisbee club, and was involved in Student Government. He credits his peers as his inspiration to pursue leadership in school and in the community.
“Earn your leadership every day.” –Michael Jordan
Josh Cadorette is from Media, PA where he graduated from Penncrest High School. While at Penncrest, Josh played a role in a number of clubs and organizations. Josh was president of his class and his school’s Future Business Leaders of America chapter. He was also co-founder and president of his school’s Interact Club – a club focused on service both locally and globally. Josh most enjoyed being class president for four years at Penncrest High School as he had the opportunity to encourage and promote school spirit through various different events. Other passions of his include hiking, golf, and photography. He hopes to double major in Finance and Political Science as well as minor in Leadership Studies. Josh is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of a driven group like the Leadership Fellows, and he looks forward to the great things they will accomplish.
“Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.” –John F. Kennedy
Joyce Choi was born and raised in sunny Santa Barbara, CA, but moved to Boston in 8th grade and graduated from Lexington High School in Massachusetts. She pursued her passion for service throughout high school, through which she also discovered a love for leadership. Joyce helped to found the Students Helping Honduran Students Club, a club dedicated to raising money for Honduran girls to go to school. In addition to that, she was very involved with her church, Grace Chapel, where she volunteered as a small group leader and went on mission trips to New Orleans and Guatemala City, which she considers some of the best weeks of her life. Joyce also volunteered for two years at Boston Children's Hospital, where she spent time with young cancer patients. Figure skating was also a large part of Joyce's life and she volunteered much of her time to her figure skating club, where she coached younger skaters. She was awarded the Lexington Pediatrics Community Service Scholarship at the end of her senior year. As someone who has fallen completely in love with film and media, Joyce plans on majoring in cinema and television arts and double minoring in leadership studies and marketing. On campus, she is a member of Alpha Chi Omega, lives on the Leaders in a Global World Living Learning Community, works in the Global Education Center, and is the VP of Communications for Inter-Residence Council. She is also involved with CinElon, Intervarsity, Model United Nations, and Alternative Breaks.
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." –Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
Caroline Cirby was born and raised in Marin County, CA and graduated from Novato High School. In high school, Caroline was one of 25 Teen Ambassadors planning a local conference for teen girls. As a senior, she presented a workshop at the conference, discussing how negative words impact people. Caroline also founded the Kind Club at her high school, to prevent girl-on-girl bullying. She was also an active member of Student Government, serving for two years as class president. She played soccer and tennis throughout high school and spent her summers as a lifeguard and swim instructor at the local pool. She will be majoring in sport and event management with minors in leadership studies and Spanish. Caroline is involved with the Phoenix Phanatics, I Am That Girl, and IRC on campus. She hopes to be involved with Elonthon and SUB as well. Caroline cannot wait to travel abroad while at Elon, and looks forward to being a Leadership Fellow.
“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” –John Shedd
Eric Cunningham comes to Elon University from Countryside Montessori School in Charlotte, NC. Eric, the oldest sibling of three knows, the importance of leadership as he served on his school’s National Honor Society, Student Government Association, the Reaccreditation Committee, various varsity sports teams, and internships with local government personnel. On top off his various leadership positions, Eric also participated as a B.R.I.C.S. specialist and Co-captain for the school’s WorldQuest team. Eric also finished first in “Geo-mapping” for the regional Science Olympiad competition at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Due to Eric’s involvement in local government, he has found passion in politics and furthermore has decided to pursue a major in political science. While at Elon Eric is looking to be involved in service work, study abroad opportunities, and government based programs such as the Elon Poll.
“Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you’ll be criticized for it anyway.” –Eleanor Roosevelt
Lilly DeNunzio grew up in Nashville, TN and graduated from Hume Fogg Academic High School. In high school she was a representative and executive officer for Student Government, secretary of National Honor Society, and member of the Junior Classical League. Lilly’s passion for spreading ideas and organizing events stems from her role as president of Food for Thought, Hume Fogg’s student-run lecture series that invites figures from the Nashville community to discuss topics not typically covered in a classroom setting and which highlights the diversity of ideas and industries thriving within the city. During her junior year, Lilly invited Alexandra Robbins, notable journalist and author of The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids, to speak at her school about the book’s messages regarding perfectionism and success. This experience later led her to become involved in Scholar-in-Residence, her school’s primary speaker series. Upon graduation, Lilly was awarded with Hume Fogg’s JD Taylor award, which is provided to the senior class member that most clearly exhibits a passion for learning and engaging with the community. At Elon she is considering a major in international studies and hopes to spend a semester abroad in Florence, Italy.
“People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.” –Simon Sinek
Marta Djalleta is from Ambler, PA, just outside of Philadelphia. In high school, Marta was heavily involved in her school, her community, and the larger world around her. Marta was involved in student council, a student representative on the school board, class committee, ambassadors club, Relay for life, Best Buddies, and many more. In high school she additionally led Charity: Water campaigns, which raised over $6,000 to build clean water wells in Ethiopia. Marta also worked at a Life Is Good store, which she enjoys returning to when she is home. After high school, Marta began her Elon experience on the Elon Gap Semester, which included a 24 day hiking/camping trip in the Wind River Range of Wyoming, four weeks of service in four different locations in the United States, and a six week study abroad experience in Costa Rica. Marta is excited to now be living and learning on Elon's campus and is enthusiastic about the many different communities that she will be joining. Currently, she is involved in Elon Volunteers as an Oxfam Coordinator, is a part of El Centro, and is looking to pursue other opportunities that involve her interest in international relations and community service.
"Whatever you do will be insignificant but it is very important that you do it." –Mahatma Gandhi
David Duncan, born and raised in the North Eastern municipal of Williamsport, PA, attended and graduated from Meadowbrook Christian School. During his high school years, David held a variety of leadership positions such as Student Government vice president, varsity basketball team captain, and Formal Committee president. He was also an athlete on the track and field team and a lead in several school musicals. At Elon, David hopes to continue developing his leadership abilities as a worship team leader for both InterVarsity and Campus Outreach and a participant of the LEAD program. Academically, David is a political science major with minors in Spanish and leadership studies. He aspires to attend law school after graduating from Elon and hopes to become a federal judge in the future.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.
Maya Eaglin is a Leadership Fellow from the Washington D.C area. Maya was the vice president of her school’s Student Government as well as her school's Black Student Union. She also served as a peer mediator and tutor for struggling students. She has been awarded the Princeton Prize in Race Relations, Duke Ellington Award of Excellence in the Arts, and the Presidential Award for Academic Excellence. Maya was a member of the National Honors Society, National Spanish Honor Society, and the National Music Honor Society (Tri-M). She is also part of Youth Leadership Greater Washington Class of 2014. In high school she participated in Musical Theater with Young Artists of America and served as her school's A Capella vice president. Maya has performed at prestigious stages like the Kennedy Center and with performers like Julie Andrews.
"Don't just help others, assist them in creating their own success." -Unknown
Audrey Funk was proudly born and raised in Canton, OH and graduated summa cum laude from Jackson High School. Audrey not only loved being involved in everything from athletics to arts, but wanted to make an impact. She was the co-chair of the Pay-it-Forward committee and choreographed a school-wide rally, she was a co-chair of the Spring Fling Charity Dance for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and was also the teen representative for her school on the Stark Country Teen Board. Audrey was also an active member of the National Honor Society, the Spanish Honor Society, Prom Committee, student council, and was a freshman lead mentor. She was a senior captain of her cross country team, and was also on the track and swim teams. Throughout her time in high school she also performed in her school musical, Footloose, and acted in a one-act play. Many of Audrey’s fondest memories and greatest accomplishments are rooted in her experiences during high school. She is proud to call Jackson High School alma mater and accredits it with much of her growth as a young adult. Audrey is currently planning to major in strategic communications and minor in Spanish and leadership studies. She is currently working at the Center for Leadership at Elon, and is honored to be a part of the Leadership Fellows Program. She looks forward to bettering herself and the community throughout her time at Elon and is excited to take on all that her future brings.
“As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.” –Audrey Hepburn
Samantha Glicker was raised on Long Island, NY where she graduated from Huntington High School. During her time at Huntington High School she was treasurer of her National Honor Society Chapter, a member of English and Spanish Honor Society, Habitat for Humanity, and Key Club. She captained the varsity track and field team her junior and senior year. Freshman year she broke a school record and senior year she had the privilege of running at Penn Relays. Samantha was a member of St. John’s Episcopal Youth group where she served the homeless through a program called HiHi. Her favorite part of being involved in the group was traveling to Costa Rica for a mission trip. She believes she made her biggest mark in the community through Relay for Life and a program she worked to create called The Imatter Project. Samantha was the survivorship committee chair where she organized a dinner to honor over 150 cancer survivors in her community. Through the Imatter project she empowered students to find their value, and made a public display on the windows of five of the libraries in her township. She is undecided on her major but is considering a minor in psychology. She feels so lucky to be a member of such an amazing cohort and truly feels like Elon is a perfect fit.
“Not the cry, but the flight of a wild phoenix, leads the phlock to fly and follow.” –Chinese Proverb
Emily Golden was born in Atlanta, GA but calls the beautiful Cary, NC home. She is a graduate of Cary Academy where she served as president of Students Against Destructive Decisions, Autism Awareness, her school's Environmental Awareness Club, as well as co-captain of both her volleyball and softball team. Emily was also on the leadership team of an organization called Shifting the Education Paradigm; eight other students and herself organized and ran a conference about educational reform focused on closing the gap between students’ potential and their performance. She also presented her own research alongside experts in the field of education. Emily loved her job as staff member and coach at Miracle League of the Triangle, a baseball organization for kids with special needs and a camp counselor at a science based summer program called CraZBrain. Emily’s passion for helping others has inspired her to double major in strategic communications and psychology with a minor in leadership studies and she hopes to pursue a career focused on outreach and education.
"It's hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse." –Adlai E Stevenson
Walker Noah Helms
Walker Noah Helms was born in East Lansing, MI in 1998 to Chris and Renee Helms but quickly moved to Radford, VA a year and a half later where he spent the remainder of his childhood. Skipping the second grade has always left him as the youngest student in school and the nickname of “Baby Walk” amongst his friends. In high school, Walker excelled as captain of the Radford High School varsity golf team. Off the course, he worked hard in the classroom to earn his spot in the National Honor Society and graduate as a Presidential Scholar. His passion is youth alcohol and drug abuse prevention. He is employed by the Virginia ABC and is constantly involved with the Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project (YADAPP) both locally and statewide. Furthermore, he founded Youth Encouraging Service (Y.E.S) in his community, an organization responsible for hundreds of completed community service hours. Walker was also an active member of his church and the FCA. While Walker is unsure of his exact educational path, he dreams of becoming the President of the United States so that he can bring liberty and justice to all. As a freshman at Elon, however, he plans on pursuing studies in journalism and psychology. In addition to his involvement with the Isabella Cannon Leadership Fellows, he also works as a student ambassador for Service-Learning in Elon’s Kernodle Center for Service-Learning. He thanks his family for all of his opportunities and successes and looks forward to spreading the love to everyone he comes in contact with.
“I’m not afraid to take a stand.” –Marshall Mathers
Hailing from Hopkinton, MA, Graham Kulig fostered his love of leadership and service in numerous ways. On the field, Graham was a three-year varsity starter and captain for both his school and club soccer teams. Leading both teams in goals scored, Graham was named to the Tri-Valley League All-Star team two years in a row. Graham found his true passion for leadership after being elected and serving four years as class president. He used this position to foster his dedication to service in the community as well. Graham spent much of his time organizing school-wide talent shows and allotted all funds to clubs such as Make-a-Wish. Outside of school, he spent much of his time fundraising for his Relay for Life team or assisting with his local Special Olympics soccer and basketball teams. Making time to relax and take a breath is extremely important to Graham, and he most enjoys spending time on the wheel in ceramics, reading, and playing guitar. Since being chosen as a Leadership Fellow, Graham is most thankful for the close friends he has made within the cohort already and is looking forward to all of the opportunities the program has to offer!
"Be the change you wish to see in the world" –Mahatma Gandhi
Alexis Mahshigian is from Rockville, MD, and graduated from the Academy of the Holy Cross in Kensington, Maryland. In high school, she participated in numerous organizations and groups. She was the secretary of her school's Honor Board, the president of their chapter of the International Thespian Honor Society, a member of the National Honor Society, and a member of the National French Honor Society. She began the Film Club and served as president. Alexis enjoys studying film and filmmaking along with storytelling. After taking film classes on the weekends, she realized how she wanted to pursue filmmaking in her future. She worked with her school to add International Baccalaureate film classes to their curriculum. She was the first student to complete the courses, and served as an assistant for the other film students during her senior year. Alexis has been involved in the performing arts for many years. In high school, she was stage manager for their musicals and plays. She has played a number of roles on stage, including Juror 2 in 12 Angry Women, and as a cast member of the Impulse Improv Team. Alexis was awarded with the Performing Arts Award, the Sophomore of the Year Award, and the Junior of the Year Award. Outside of school, Alexis worked in a ceramics studio where she spent time working with children and creating pottery of her own. At Elon University, Alexis hopes to work with others and gain more knowledge in areas she had no idea interested her. She is overjoyed to be a part of the Elon community and is looking forward to the next four years with such great people!
"You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality." –Walt Disney
Katherine Mars, known more commonly as Katie, is from the small town of Doylestown, PA. She graduated from Mount Saint Joseph Academy, where she was heavily involved in clubs and organizations. Katie played varsity soccer and varsity softball while in high school. She was the president of Respect Life Club and Support the Troops Club. Furthermore, she served as an officer for the Community Service Corps, as well as being an active member of other organizations, such as Gold Key Club and National Honor Society. Outside of school, Katie served as a leadership team member for her church's youth group and as secretary for Bucks County Teenage Republicans. Katie also founded and ran two organizations, The "Senior" Prom Project and Turn House into Home. With The "Senior" Prom Project, she organized fashion shows at nursing homes to help foster an intergenerational bond between residents of the nursing homes and the students who were modeling in the shows. With Turn House into Home, Katie worked with local artists and schools to collect artwork, which was then donated to homeless and transitional housing shelters in the area. Although Katie is unsure what she wants to declare as her major, she is leaning towards business with a non-profit focus, with a minor in poverty studies and leadership studies. Also, she hopes to become involved with Elon Volunteers and ElonTHON while on campus. In the future, Katie hopes to open her own women's shelter to help women who are struggling to get back on their feet.
"Leaders don't create followers, they create more leaders." –Tom Peters
Tres McMichael was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. He graduated from George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology where he studied theatre arts, vocal music, and dance. During his years in high school Tres served as the president of his class, president of his school’s student government, member of the Superintendent’s Advisory Council, executive board member of his community association, and president of the Baltimore County Student Councils, representing all of the 110,000 students of Baltimore County Public Schools on local, state, and national levels. He has received awards from the Baltimore County NAACP, Black Professional Men Inc., National Association of Teachers of Singing, and National Endowment for the Arts. In the summer of 2014 Tres spent 21 days in Anloga, Ghana building a library, teaching primary school students, and painting a medical clinic. Tres has been recognized for his accomplishments by Baltimore Magazine, The Baltimore Sun, The Education Channel, and TIME Magazine. While at Elon Tres will be majoring in music theatre and hopes to become active in the BSU and other organizations on Elon’s campus.
“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.”
–George Washington Carver
Emma Ott grew up in Eighty Four, PA where she graduated as a co-valedictorian from Ringgold High School. She is a member of the National Honor Society, was a student honoree at her school’s Hall of Fame banquet, and received the Scholastic Excellence Award from the United States Marine Corps. In high school, Emma played multiple sports and was involved in many clubs and organizations. She was co-captain of both the varsity tennis and softball teams. She founded and was elected president of her school’s Future Business Leaders of America chapter. In addition, she was treasurer of her class, a member of Mock Trial and Math League, a debate team captain, and competed in many academic competitions. Emma has a passion for giving back to the community, which she was able to do in various ways throughout high school. She was elected vice president of her school’s Interact (service) Club, a student mentor at a STREAM (Science Technology Reading Engineering Art Mathematics) camp, and was selected as a juror for Peer Jury, an interscholastic organization under the County Court system. One of Emma’s favorite clubs that she was involved with in high school was Relay for Life; where she was chosen as a co-chair for the regional event, which raised over $100,000 for the American Cancer Society. At Elon, Emma is double majoring in finance and statistics with a concentration in actuarial science. She has continued her involvement with the American Cancer Society by becoming a member of Elon’s Colleges Against Cancer chapter. She is also involved with the Intellectual Climate Working Group, ElonThon, and is a Poll Interviewer for the Elon University Poll. Emma is honored and grateful to be a part of the Leadership Fellows program and cannot wait to take advantage of the endless opportunities that Elon has to offer.
“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” –John Wooden
Leah Vail is a Fellow from Tampa, FL, and she is so honored to be a part of the Isabella Cannon Leadership Fellows Program. During high school, amongst many activities, she was most deeply involved with student government, volleyball, the student newspaper, softball, and singing. As a freshman and sophomore, she served as class president for SGA at Tampa Catholic High School. She also received the Top Pitcher Award as a freshman on the varsity softball team. Leah was heavily involved with travel softball while in Florida, traveling all the way to 18U Gold ASA Nationals as a freshman. After moving to Mooresville, NC for her junior and senior year, she got involved with House Leadership (a student-lead governing group) and the Cannon Belles, the school’s female a cappella group. She was also a founding member of the CUSP, the student newspaper, and served as editor for the life section. She served as team captain for Cannon softball her junior and senior year, and received the Most Valuable Player Award for the 2015 season. Leah graduated cum laude with honors in many subjects and was proud to contribute to the College Counseling department at Cannon, working with underclassmen and sharing her experiences in finding the right school. Lastly, Leah ran an Instagram food blog throughout her senior year, snapping photos of healthy meals and helping young girls heal from eating disorders in the process. At Elon, Leah is studying communications with minors in psychology and leadership. She hopes to one day write for Women’s Health magazine, become a health coach, and run her own food blog. Leah is also involved with Catholic Campus Ministry and Service, residing in the Service Learning Community in Historic Neighborhood. She can’t wait to take advantage of every opportunity at Elon!
“You can’t live a positive life with a negative mind." -Unknown