Brittany Sink (Scholar '14) and Paul Chitwood (Scholar '14)

The phrase 'ILA Family' is a little extra special to Paul and me; it has had a more powerful impact than the lifelong friendships and mentors. My ILA Family includes my future husband, and we are forever indebted to this program for the gift of each other. Our relationship began within our first Capstone Service Project team. Paul was handsome and (almost) matched my love for Georgia football, and I managed to convince him to take me on a date. Despite Dr. C’s impeccable ability to read her students, Paul and I managed to keep our relationship a secret for several months. I will never forget later meeting with Dr. C for relationship advice, specifically around Paul and I’s (very different) Highlands assessments. Paul proposed where we met on North Campus, and it was so special to have Dr. C there to celebrate! As our dear friends in our Leonard Scholars class like to call it, 'Leonard Love' has been the greatest part of our ILA Family. Paul and I are able to use the insights and knowledge gained from the program to strengthen our relationship, and we cannot wait for the Leonard Scholars Class of 2014 reunion at our wedding!

Sarah Forbes (Scholar '10) and Jimmy Forbes (Fellow '09)

Being a part of the ILA Family not only means we developed meaningful and long-lasting friendships with our ILA peers, but also that the two of us had a shared experience coming into our marriage. We started dating right after Jimmy completed LEAD and as Sarah was entering her first year of the Leonard Leadership Scholarship Program, so we were well positioned to have important conversations about how to pursue paths post-college that aligned with our respective passions and values, and how to help one another do that. This type of reflection continues to play an important role in our relationship, especially as we’ve made bigger decisions in our marriage, like deciding to move to Colorado for new jobs a couple years ago, despite not really knowing anyone here. As an added bonus, we now have two copies of all our ILA leadership books, so our friends and visitors look at our bookshelf and think we’re fully obsessed with leadership.

Adam McTish (Scholar '12) and Caroline (Cave) McTish (Scholar '12)

ILA was pivotal in our lives, not just from the friends we made, the values we engraved in ourselves, and the leadership lessons we learned, but also because it resulted in our marriage! We got married in Athens, GA on June 18, 2016, and ILA certainly deserves the credit for bringing us together. We established a friendship during our first semester as Leonard Leadership Scholars, even working together in the same group on our community service project at a Boys & Girls Club that fall. Our relationship grew during that semester, eventually culminating in a date a few months later. We’ve been together ever since, and we think it’s the strong values we both share, which we learned from ILA, that really make us perfect for each other. We’re not sure that’s what the LLSP had in mind, but either way, we’re very thankful for it! Outside of our marriage, we still have many close friends whom we met in ILA, and it’s exciting to keep in touch with our ILA family to see all the success ILA alums showcase. It’s truly a phenomenal program and the part of UGA we cherished the most. Thanks ILA!
Live the coin — Caroline & Adam McTish

Robert Thrasher (Scholar '10) and Brooke Shedd Thrasher (Fellow '14)

Brooke and I are very thankful for our experiences with ILA. The programs provided us with unique communities of particularly driven peers within Terry. The ILA courses and lectures also were a helpful supplement to the Terry core, with practical learning about personal and organizational leadership. I even met an eventual boss, Jim Reese, after he spoke at an ILA Leadership Lecture about his dual experiences as CEO of Randstad and Atlanta Mission. What's more, past directors and professors remain an encouraging source of support and wisdom for both of us as we continue in our careers. In short, thanks, ILA!
— Robert Thrasher, LLSP 2010

Lindsay Voigt (Scholar '07) and Scott Voigt (Scholar '07)

To me, family means shared experience. In the context of my ILA Family, this experience was forged during my time as a Leonard Leadership Scholar. My admittance to the Scholars program was a tremendous honor that secured my entrance into an incredible new family yet unknown to me. It would eventually take on additional significance, as this class of 2007 Leonard Scholars would include my future husband, Scott Voigt. Scott and I spent the first two years of our relationship together as part of this program. What a unique opportunity we were afforded to grow, learn and be shaped during these formative years by the same people and experiences. As we were learning about ourselves, we were also learning about each other. Today, we can discuss certain leadership principles or abilities, laugh about a memory from our Epworth retreat or trip to New Orleans for Katrina relief work, hang out with our fellow classmates or enjoy going to lunch together with a past professor because of our shared history. We treasure being a part of this ILA family and recognize how its impact on us as individuals continues to give back to us in our marriage. — Lindsay Voigt, LLSP 2007