Since coming to Kean the fall of 2018, Leonardo Polo has hit the ground running, immediately embracing everything Kean had to offer. Presently, he excels in his academics as a mathematical sciences major, participates at the Bronze Leadership Level for the Leadership Institute and serves the president of Chance at Performing (CAP).
Even before coming to Kean, Polo was interested in finding ways to be involved. With encouragement from his peers, he ran for class president of his high school only to lose by one vote. Still, this ignited a newfound passion for leadership in Polo, which propelled him to look for other outlets to develop and use his inherent leadership skills. Little did he know that the Leadership Institute at Kean University would be perfect for his interests come time to apply to college.
He first heard of the Bronze Leadership Level offered by the Leadership Institute when he came to an open house. The information he gathered from that visit piqued his interest and he decided he would apply. After being accepted into the program, Polo had the opportunity to go to the Bronze Leadership Retreat over the summer. This retreat motivated him more in his pursuit for leadership skills as he was inspired by his peers and motivated by the program leaders.
"[The Leadership Institute] impacted and changed my mindset. I learned new ways of using my time wisely and excelling in my academics as I learned new study habits according to my personality. Also, on the retreat I made new friends, which meant I had someone to eat lunch with on the first day of school. With this experience, Kean University became not only my school but also my home," said Polo.
As Polo went about his business as a regular student, he also happened to notice one thing was missing from his new home: a musically inclined club. Having enjoyed a guitar ensemble class in high school, Polo had hoped to find a similar experience in college. Although he had tried out the guitar classes offered at Kean, he felt that students like him with similar interests could benefit from a full-fledged club.
Polo took it upon himself to help establish Chance at Performing (CAP), a new club on campus for Kean students hoping to improve their musical skills. The club is set up with fellowship in place of formal instruction so that members can all learn from each other. The club also hopes to prepare their members to potentially perform on campus.
His term as president for CAP is only the start of what Polo hopes to accomplish as a developing leader. Polo is currently working toward earning his bachelor's degree in mathematical sciences and later a Ph.D. in mathematics. He aspires to become a professor at a university one day.
"Coming to Kean University, I knew I wanted to reach higher goals. I knew I wanted to become a leader, to achieve higher academics and to be involved on campus," Polo said. "The Bronze Leadership Program has taught and encouraged me to use all of Kean's resources [for my] benefit. I used my freshman year wisely and took steps that will have an impact on my later years at Kean University as I [work to] reach my goals. I advise anyone to make this step and make use of all Kean has to offer their students."