The Opportunity Scholars program headed south this past weekend, gaining valuable experiences and relationships while in Zion National Park. For many of the scholars, the outdoor experiences they engaged in this past weekend were entirely new. Led by program directors Latu Kinikini and Rich Kaufusi, the scholars set up their campsite upon arrival and began engaging in activities revolving around leadership, relationship building, and trust. Diversity Ambassador Rosario Bibiano stated the activities showcased how a person can overcome hard challenges as long as they hold trust in themselves and their peers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These themes carried on into the second day as the Opportunity Scholars embarked upon multiple hikes, many of them tackling Observation Point. For some, this was a life-changing experience. After a day full of adventure and accomplishment, the Opportunity Scholars returned and heard from their guest speakers. Mbe Agbor, a graduate and donor in the Opportunity Scholars program, advised students to do three things in life: take good notes, work hard, and ask lots of questions. Utilizing his experiences to illustrate each of these, Agbor inspired students to take on the “goliaths” in their lives at full speed. Specifically, he emphasized that hard work will always result in success and overcome natural talent.


Ending the trip, the scholars left Zion National Park with a plethora of new friends, memories and experiences. In the words of Diversity Ambassador Sam Daniel, “Although we had fun, there were moments for critical thought where students reflected on the day and were honest about their struggles and academic goals. The entire trip was an amazing experience and I’ll cherish it as one of the highlights of my college career.”

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