The Dean of Students Office November Student Spotlight is Leah Rolando, a senior social work major.
Name almost any unit affiliated with the Dean of Students Office and you can find Rolando playing some sort of role in it. She got involved with the Dean of Students Office early by joining Emerging Leaders during her freshman year. She is involved in many activities within the Dean of Students Office, from Diversity Advocacy’s Black Student Union to being an Academic Senator. She has also participated in a couple of Alternative Spring Break trips affiliated with Leadership Community Connections.
Rolando decided that getting involved would help her pursue her dream of starting her own organization, To Write Love on Her Arms. This nonprofit organization raises awareness for people struggling with addiction, depression, self-injury, and thoughts of suicide.
Rolando describes herself as a servant leader. She believes leadership is never about you as an individual; it is about building bridges for other people and encouraging them to fight for their passion.
One piece of advice Rolando has for other students is, “Lean into the discomfort of trying something new, be courageous with your time here at Illinois State. If your dreams don’t scare you then they’re not big enough.”
Megan Snodsmith was a contributor to this story.