By Raquel Saxe
ContributorLa Jolla High School junior Sasha Altschuler recently received the Global Leadership Connection Female Youth Leader Scholarship in recognition of her outstanding leadership qualities and academic achievement.
Her classmate, junior John Walsh, received a $500 Leaders in Excellence Scholarship. Lilygol Sedaghat, also a junior from La Jolla, received a $100 Ambassador Scholarship.
More than 200 student leaders from nine San Diego-area high schools were nominated by their schools to participate in the two-day GLC Leadership Conference, co-sponsored by the University of San Diego. Each student participated in an application and interview process led by business leaders and USD admissions officers. Sixteen scholarships were awarded.
The program honors outstanding high school juniors who maintain a high scholastic average and have demonstrated leadership ability in their school, community and spiritual organizations.
Carole Harder, executive director and founder of the Global Leadership Connection, has identified leaders such as Sasha, John and Lilygol as “the greatest natural resource our nation has.”
Harder, who has volunteered with student leaders around the country for 30 years, said she is aware of the power these individuals possess and believes they will continue to make a positive difference in our community and world.
“I loved Global Leadership Connection,” Sasha said. “I was able to hear many important speakers, learn valuable lessons and make lifelong friends. It was a great feeling to be surrounded by so many students of merit and kindness.”
She is president of the Sister Schools Club at La Jolla High School, which raises money to support education for children in northern Uganda. She is also involved in Junior Theater, track and field and the Confetti Community Service Organization.
John plays on La Jolla’s varsity volleyball and basketball teams. He is captain of his club volleyball team and serves as secretary of the Irish Club, La Jolla High’s largest student club.
He defines a leader as “someone who uses their ability to serve as a way to impact others.” He is known at school for his leadership on and off the court.
Lilygol is the junior class president at La Jolla High. She is also actively involved in the Science Team, Model United Nations and Speech and Debate. Lilygol said she was truly inspired by Harder.
“I felt motivated,” she said. “I know now the power we have to help others and promote leadership in our communities.”
She added that she learned to never degrade or belittle her strength, or that of others, for it is immense.
In addition to the scholarships, Sasha and John will join top student leaders from across the nation on an all-expense paid trip to the GLC Leadership Experience in Washington, D.C., from Oct. 15 through 19.
Raquel J. Saxe is La Jolla High School ASB president and the GLC Female Youth Leader of 2008.