IU Leadership Corps is a student-led organization originally designed to connect IU’s 21st Century Scholars to volunteer opportunities that relate to their fields of study, values, beliefs, and/or interests. Founded in 1995, IU’s 21st Century Scholars Program is ranked No. 1 in Indiana for the number of students receiving the “first-dollar, full-tuition, need-based Indiana 21st Century Scholarship” at any four-year public or private university. IU Leadership Corps offers all IU students the chance to volunteer, mentor, and gain leadership skills. Each year, participants work with IU Greening Cream and Crimson, Girls Inc. Holiday Hoopla, Stone Belt, Bloomington AIDS Walk, Kelley 5K, and the IU 21st Century Scholars Day. Meet some of the student organizers for Leadership Corps.
‘I completed a research project on Latino Studies and Criminal Justice’
Name: Olivia Dockter
Major/s and school: Psychology & criminal justice, College of Arts & Sciences
Expected graduation date: May 2021
Leadership Corps position: Executive Secretary
As executive secretary of Leadership Corps, Olivia Dockter has loved seeing the organization grow to serve even more community members. She also serves on the executive council for IU Student Foundation, which programs the annual Little 500 bicycle race (and raises money for student scholarships), works at the Luddy Café, and is a student ambassador for Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs. “This semester, I completed an interdisciplinary research project on Latino Studies and Criminal Justice that I presented it in a two-day symposium to faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students,” she said.
‘Service work … allows people to do things for something greater than themselves’
Name: Basia Martinez
Major/s: Accounting and technology management, Kelley School of Business
Expected graduation date: May 2020
Leadership Corps position: Vice president of Ambassador Corps
When Basia Martinez came to IU, she quickly became involved with IU Leadership Corps and its Ambassador Corps program, coordinating professional development and leadership events for students from all career paths. “Valuing the importance of service work as part of professional development allows people to do things for something greater than themselves,” she said. “Volunteerism can provide a variety of opportunities people were never exposed to before.” Basia also serves as a peer tutor for a computer class in the Kelley School and is a Faculty and Staff Excellence mentor and member of Student Accounting Society.
‘I am a part of something larger than myself’
Name: Dakota Suomela
Major/s and school: Kelley School of Business
Expected graduation date: May 2020
Leadership Corps position: Treasurer of Leadership Corps and as the vice president of Volunteer Corps
Through Volunteer Corps, Dakota plans two community events every month. “I was really proud to host the Volunteer Corps’ first food drive [in fall of 2018] in partnership with Hoosier Hills Food Bank,” she said. “I love volunteering because it provides me with the opportunity to make an impact and feel as though I am a part of something larger than myself. I am always humbled by the end of a volunteer shift.” When Dakota isn’t volunteering, you can find her peer tutoring for a computer class in the Kelley school and serving as a teaching assistant for business law and ethics. Thanks, Dakota, for all of the ways you give back and serve as a role model!