J. Ollie Edmunds Scholars
2017-2018 | Hunter Wilkins
Homeschooled, Valencia College (Dual Enrollment)
Major: Business Administration
Hunter believes that he has found the secret to becoming a leader: following. Through his own personal mentors, Hunter has been able to craft his leadership style from his mentors that has opportunities to watch and grow from. He was able to put his practice into play as a Regional Field Director for Marco Rubio’s U.S. Senate race. Hunter oversaw three counties where he recruited over 350 volunteers and worked with 50 interns. During his time on the campaign, Hunter’s region broke the state record for the most calls in a day by a single office, led the state in calls and assisted with training other directors from across the state. He also spent over 200 hours interning for Ron DeSantis and Ted Cruz.
When he is not involved in local and state politics, Hunter participates in Cru Ministries Leadership Team and City Wide Speaker where he plans, works and speaks at events and retreats. Through his church participation, he had the opportunity lead a group through Josiah Venture Team to travel to Estonia and Germany for two summers to teach English.
Hunter continues to lead through his high school involvement in the gym and field through being captain of his weightlifting and football teams. Respectfully, he was a three-year letterman on the Timber Creek High School Football team, was named the Timber Creek High School D-Lineman of the year in 2016 and was a member of the Orlando Sentinel Super 60. Within his community, he participated in Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) Training that focused on management implementation and creating community organizations as well attended TeenPact Leadership School where he served as one of three elected “Senators”.
2017-2018 | Peter Greubel
George Washington High School
Cedar Rapids, IA
Major: International Studies
Peter believes in the “it takes a village” mentality to help motivate and inspire young people today. He is encouraging to his peers by pushing them to take advantage of local opportunities by attending leadership events that he produces. Peter was bothered that more people did not have exposure to these personal development opportunities, so he created Level Up Leadership: An Interactive Student Empowerment Event. The event attracted 180 students from 18 different local high schools, for the daylong event. He received the honor of becoming Cedar Rapids Male Youth Leader of the Year and was also a participant in the National Council on Youth Leadership. This National Council brings together youth leaders dedicated to ethical conduct, academic excellence and compassionate service. Peter is also a very dedicated student at Washington High School. He has served as class President from 9th to 12th grade and is a member of the Principal’s Advisory Committee. He is also co-President of the Momentum Varsity Show Choir.
With all this leadership Peter has also shown great leadership on the football field. He received Iowa Bankers Association Student-Athlete Achievement Award and also has received First Team Academic All-State Class 4A Football. Peter has been offered a roster spot to play football for the Stetson Hatters.
Peter has also gone on a service trip to Guatemala with ImagininGUATEMALA and helped build durable homes for Guatemalan families in need. This year he will also work with the University of Iowa on an experiment that deals with the psychological effects of adverse childhood experiences in children, teenagers and adults.
2016-2017 | Slavina (Sally) Ancheva
Washington-Lee High School
International Baccalaureate Diploma Awarded
Major: International Business
Slavina Ancheva chose to lead through empowering others; whether it was through the most rigorous academic curriculum offered within her high school, on the volleyball court or in one of the organizations she volunteered her time in, Sally empowered her peers to achieve one common goal of success. As co-founder of Maria’s World Foundation in Sofia, Bulgaria, Sally spends a month each summer volunteering and bringing supplies and books from the U.S. to Bulgaria helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She held the position of President for her junior and senior years within Best Buddies, an international non-profit organization that promotes friendship and job opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Within her presidency, she led the Washington-Lee High School chapter of Best Buddies to become the “Most Outstanding High School Chapter in the World” in 2015 and was the largest club at Washington-Lee.
Sally attended the West Point Leadership Conference at George Mason University as one of four students selected from Washington Lee High School. She also received the Virginia High School League Academic Excellence Award for maintaining above a GPA of 4.0 while playing a varsity sport in 2014 and 2015. She received the Le Grant Concours Certificat de Reussite for National French Exam Levels 1 through 3 and the Le Grant Concours Certificat d’honneur for the Level 4 National French Examination. Some additional leadership positions she has held while in high school include a member of student council since 10th grade, a Bulgarian Embassy Youth Cultural Representative, Lead Mentor for incoming freshman, and a tutor at school to assist students who needed additional support in class. In addition to everything that Sally was involved in, she also found time to work part-time at BUZZ Bakery as a barista.
2015-2016 | Matthew Sweeney
At Maclay High School in Tallahassee, Florida, Matthew served as a leader in the following positions:
- Student Council President
- Honor Council
- Key Club Vice-President
- Student-Athlete Advisory Committee President
- Captain of varsity football
- Captain of varsity soccer
- Captain of varsity tennis
- Interclub Council
- Youth Leadership Tallahassee Class 10
At Stetson, Matthew has wasted no time becoming involved on campus and off. On campus, he spends his time participating in the following activities:
- Stetson Football Team
- Honor System Council
- Fellowship of Christian Athletes
- Catholic Campus Ministries
- Habitat for Humanity
Growing up as the middle of five children, he has always loved working with the children in his community. At Stetson, he has reached out to the Deland community by volunteering at:
- MeStrong 5k
- Starke Elementary
- Boys and Girls Club
- Blue Lake Elementary
- Chisholm Center
Awards and Honors:
In high school, he was honored at the state, regional, district, and school levels and received the following awards:
- Valedictorian of the Maclay Class of 2015
- FHSAA All-State Academic Team
- Best and Brightest Leadership Category Runner-Up
- Amos P. Godby Student-Athlete Award
- Maclay Academic Scholar (Highest Upper School GPA)
- Boyd Award for Outstanding Sophomore at Maclay
- Cum Laude Society
- National Honor Society
- FHSAA 3A All-State First Team Football
- FHSAA All-State Soccer Team
Building the Future:
As of right now, he plans on majoring in mathematics and finance. He plans to attend graduate school and then pursue a career as an actuary.
2014-2015 | Leia Schwartz
Leia Schwartz is passionate about helping others in her community — as evidenced by her more than 5,000 hours of community service.
She's held leadership roles with:
- the American Lung Association
- the American Cancer Society
- Miami Children's Hospital
- First Tee Golf Foundation,
- Camp Boggy Creek
- the Mayor's Youth Advisory Council
- and more
A talented singer and songwriter, her songs have won local, state, and international competitions. She was selected to the elite Florida All-State Reading Choir all four years of high school and is the winner of the TV show Musical Genius.
Her experiences with the connection between music and health inspired her to found Healing Harmonies — a community outreach program dedicated to "healing through the arts" and "changing lives one note at a time."
Awards and Honors
Leia has been honored with many of the nation's top awards, including:
- Coca-Cola Scholar
- National AP Scholar
- First Tee Scholar
- Burger King Scholar
- Prudential Spirit of Community
- the President's Volunteer Service Award
- National Federation of High School Associations Heart of the Arts award
Leia was also named All-Dade Scholar-Athlete, and was inducted into the Miami-Dade Youth Hall of Fame.
Building on the Past, Looking Toward the Future
Leia made a great impact at Coral Reef High School where she was active in student government, inducted into five honor societies, served as vice president of the chorus as well as captain of the varsity golf, swim, bowling and geography teams.
She graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA — having taken all honors and AP classes. Leia's teachers described her as "enterprising, dedicated, expressive, witty, and assertive — all the attributes needed to be a dynamic force on the college campus."
She will be pursuing a double major in music and communications and media studies at Stetson University.