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Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College student Carley Harper attended the prestigious George and Donna Nigh Leadership Academy in Oklahoma City. She was awarded the Leadership Scholarship and joined the ranks of a Nigh Scholar.

The scholarship was established in 1999 with official legislation in the state of Oklahoma. The purpose is to grant two- and four-year higher education institutions the power to select one student each year to honor as a Nigh Scholar.

The student must exhibit strong leadership qualities, have high academic achievement, strong community involvement, and have graduated from an Oklahoma high school. Students receive a $1,000 Leadership Scholarship and attend the Nigh Leadership Academy.

The academy delivers an intense mixture of personal development sessions on expanding personal skills and understanding leadership. The academy provides opportunities to outstanding students pursuing careers in public service.

Harper said the most significant thing she took away from the leadership academy was meeting George and Donna Nigh.

“Mrs. Nigh told us she knows we are here to learn about business, higher education, and politics, but our purpose is life,” said Harper. “I didn’t fully understand what she meant at the time, but it made perfect sense as we progressed.”

Harper joined other outstanding students from colleges and universities throughout Oklahoma. She said each person she met was remarkable. Like Harper, these young, motivated scholars are all goal-driven and determined to make a difference.

She described the other attendees as having different majors and goals with one thing in common – becoming great leaders.

“We are all passionate about leadership. I felt proud surrounded by other young people who want to be leaders too,” Harper said. “Make connections everywhere you go. Never meet a stranger.”

Harper encourages nominees to apply to the academy. In addition to earning a scholarship and traveling to exciting places, she said students can network with influential people and make new friends.

For more information, please contact Kendra Cummins at kendra.cummnins@neo.edu or 918-540-6201.

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