Act Six is a scholarship program for emerging leaders who are passionate about learning, eager to foster intercultural relationships, willing to step out of their comfort zones, committed to serving those around them, and want to use their college education to make a difference on campus and in their communities at home. The program aims to provide extensive leadership development and mentorship opportunities in order for this select group of students to engage and invest fully on campus and in the community.
My Act Six Experience
To me, being an Act Six scholar at Concordia College means finding a community that embraces diversity in all of its forms. As someone who holds multiple marginalized identities, Act Six has provided me with a support system that comprises students from an abundance of backgrounds and life experiences. As a result, I have learned to embrace my own identity in my learning community at Concordia while also striving to create spaces that welcome and champion inclusivity. The narrative of my life has led me to want to find true connection, good and beautiful. I believe this creates an intersect with the mission of Act Six and causes me to live from a place of wanting to understand other people.
Growing up, my family always moved from one place to another. Going to a new school almost every year, being in a new environment, and meeting new people taught me so much. Throughout the encounters I have had with people of different ethnic backgrounds, I had the opportunity to experience being part of different communities, further enhance my cultural understanding, and allow me to be a better communicator. I believe the beauty of growing up in a diverse background is that I was always learning something new about my identity and how people perceived me. I came to understand and adapt to different cultures, norms, and values, which taught me to have broader perspectives when associating with people from different cultures. I learned to code-switch and adjust to different environments accordingly.
I believe that community is a social construct that a group of people at a certain place create through sharing ideas, lifestyles, and values. Being here at Concordia College, I want to be part of the creation of that community by bringing my experiences and personal values. The Act Six mission is all about bringing different people from different backgrounds together to form a strong community and I can see how my core values could help me accomplish this here at Concordia.
I believe my life experiences have formed me into a person who sees people for who they are and sees the reasons behind their thoughts, feelings, and behavior. This intersects with the mission of Act Six by equipping me to be a unifier and one who not only wants to extend a hand in whatever way I can, but also learns from those whose lives and circumstances have not provided them with nearly as many opportunities or a large platform for their voice. This also helps me to love and connect with others who are not like me by cultural background or opportunity because I see their humanity. I believe this is all tied together by the unity of the shared desires and purpose of our humanity and the gifts and love that we have to offer to the world.
On Concordia’s campus, Act Six scholars receive ongoing support from faculty and Act Six mentors. Heidi Rogers and Rani Bezanson in the Center for Student Success are the Act Six mentors here at Concordia. They meet regularly with the cadres and with each individual scholar as needed. Mentors provide social support and connect students with campus resources. This support helps scholars thrive academically, but also empowers them to get involved and step out into leadership roles on campus and in the surrounding community.
Cadre members provide additional support. We meet once a month to talk about topics such as mental health, time management, and so much more. We currently have two different cadres: cadre one has been an amazing support system for me on campus. Members have given invaluable guidance and support as they help us navigate and adjust to campus life.
Tips for Incoming Scholars
Be transparent and try your best (we all have leaders within us).
Be passionate about learning.
Be eager to foster intercultural relationships.
Step out of your comfort zone.
Be ready to make a difference on campus and at home.
Visit the Act Six website for more information on how to apply.
Published April 2021