Monday, October 4, 2010

Isaiah Lee Stone Scholarship Award

I have the greatest job in the world. Seriously. I do.

For those of you who don't know, I am the Youth Coordinator for Leadership Oklahoma. Leadership Oklahoma began in 1986 and was created to build a statewide leadership development program designed to identify, teach and challenge the leaders of our state. Youth Leadership Oklahoma (YLOK) was created in 2001 and is a program provided, free of charge to upcoming high school seniors, designed to develop in our state's young leaders a hope, pride and responsibility for Oklahoma's future.

Each year, 50 high school juniors are selected from across the state to make up YLOK and to be a part of this one of a kind leadership opportunity. The students take a week long journey in June to learn more about Oklahoma's resources and its people. By learning about Oklahoma's history, culture, issues and leaders, hopefully YLOK participants begin to develop a greater understanding and an immense appreciation of our great state.

In 2007, I was given the opportunity to join the Leadership Oklahoma team and was the interim YLOK Coordinator. I was pregnant with Jackson at the time and worked full time getting up to speed on the job and planning the program. I was six months pregnant and hopped on a bus with 50 high school upcoming seniors and we traveled around the state for a week.

I knew that I wanted to be a stay at home mom when I had babies, but I didn't realize just how much it means to truely love your job...and want to be a stay at home mom too. Enter...the solution....I was so fortunate that LOK took me up on the idea of having me be a "contract" worker and still run YLOK, but do it on a limited amount of in the office hours with office hours at my house as well. I am happy to report that I will be traveling with my 5th YLOK class this summer. What a joy it is to have a job you are passionate about but also be able to stay at home and watch my babies grow as well. I do realize I am one of the lucky ones and I truely feel blessed by my situation daily.

With that 2009 I traveled the state with YLOK Class IX while I was 39 weeks pregnant with Isaiah. So, now, both of my kiddos are a huge part of my job as well. When Isaiah died, it was natural for Renzi and I to ask that all donations be made to Youth Leadership Oklahoma so that this wonderful organziation could be blessed as much as it has blessed us.

After many long talks, Renzi and I decided that with this money that was donated to YLOK and with LOK we wanted to start the ISAIAH LEE STONE SCHOLARSHIP. We presented our criteria to this year's class. Here it is in detail:

The Isaiah Lee Stone Youth Leadership Oklahoma Scholarship Award

Who was Isaiah Lee Stone?
Isaiah Lee Stone was the infant son of YLOK Coordinator, Lee Anne Stone and Class XVIII's C. Renzi Stone. Lee Anne traveled around the state with Class IX in the summer of 2009 at 39 weeks pregnant with Isaiah. The program concluded on a Friday and Lee Anne gave birth to Isaiah the following Monday morning-June 15, 2009. Isaiah was diagnosed with epilepsy later that year and after exhaustive medical treatments, passed away on May 17, 2010-just short of his first birthday. Isaiah taught the Stones and anyone else who came into contact with him how to smile, laugh and live every day to the fullest.

Who is worthy of being the Isaiah Lee Stone Youth Leadership Oklahoma Scholarship recipient?

The class is encouraged to nominate individuals who best exemplfiy the type of leader Oklahoma needs for its future. This is not intended to be the person who wants to run for political office or the most popular among you. The Isaiah Lee Stone YLOK Scholar is someone who has made a lasting impression on each classmate. They are someone who asks thoughtful questions of speakers, who invests time in getting to know everyone and who professes a love for the state of Oklahoma. Classmates know for certain that this person is going to do great things in thier future. Nominees know with clear intentions today that they will make their home in the great state of Oklahoma after college.

Each YLOK class will select the recipient of the Isaiah Lee Stone Youth Leadership Oklahoma Scholarship with the honoree being announced at YLOK Graduation. Scholarship money, $1,500, will be distributed August 1st teh follwing year prior to college via check to each recipient.

This year YLOK Class X nominated Thomas Owens from Edmond Memorial High School for the first Isaiah Lee Stone Scholarship Award winner. I had the chance to get to know Thomas a little better at a Youth Council meeting I held a few weeks back and let me tell you. This kid is amazing! I know he will do amazing things for our state and will be a leader in whatever he chooses to do in his future.

I just wanted to share with you all about this award and to let those of you who don't know what I am talking about when I say, "I was at work, " or , "my job," etc.
I am so happy to be able to have such a great work-home balance and feel like working on a contract basis helps make me a better mom and wife. I get to still be "Lee Anne" and I get to still be "Mom" too.

I hope that all of can and have found what you are passionate about and can make that work for your life as well!
Lee Anne

P.S. I also just opened up the application process for YLOK Class XI. If you know of a current junior in high school in Oklahoma encourage them to apply! You can download an application at Deadline is Dec. 1 at 5 p.m.!

1 comment:

Carrie said...

That's so awesome! Send me the info about your winner! I'd love to put that in the paper. Just email me -