Who We Are

Who We Are

Student leadership development is at the heart of what we do.

How do we do that?

Leadership Community

Oaks Scholars take leadership seriously. Because of that, they commit themselves to a year of intense learning and engaging by:

  • Actively participating in monthly cohort meetings devoted to developing leadership skills
  • Scholars complete a final action-based project at the end of term prior to the May Excursion
    • Presented to campus and community partners
    • Demonstrates the impact they’re making in our world
    • Create policy proposals that drive systemic and lasting changes in their communities, both locally and nationally.
  • Develop relationships during monthly program mentor meetings by:
    • Working on the path to achieving their programmatic goals
    • Discussing readings
    • Further developing personal and professional networks

Equity and Access

Oaks Scholars believe that leadership is meant to move communities toward becoming more equitable and accessible. Leadership is one of the mechanisms we use to enact positive change in our world.

Oaks Scholars study the institutions and systems in which we live and work. Scholars acknowledge the context and relationship to these systems, and spend time learning about the intersection of these systems and the ways in which they act on (and for) people.

Reading & Reflecting

Reading is one of the most powerful tools we have to gain knowledge, so our Scholars read extensively throughout the year. As each month is devoted to a specific topic, their reading follows the assigned topic, and provides new opportunities and perspectives for Scholars to learn. Their readings of contemporary scholarship reflect positionality, leadership, and equity work. Scholars discuss readings in the larger cohort and in smaller reading circles.

Scholars are able to take the knowledge they gain through their readings and meeting, and are able to digest and reflect through personal, one-on-one, and group reflection opportunities. Weekly Reading Circles and monthly Mentor Meetings allow students the chance to digest, question, and discuss the material they’ve been presented. Reflections allow students to critically reflect and analyze the systems which we live in, and how to enact change in their communities.

Traveling and Doing

Our excursions are some of the best parts of the Oaks Scholars. Students go out into the world to engage with current leaders to understand the impact they can make on local, state, national, and global levels.

The December excursion allows students to focus on North Carolina history. In May, Scholars travel to Washington, D.C. where they network with legislative leaders and groups advocating for access to all in agriculture.

“The Oaks Scholars was the best thing I was a part of at NC State. Not only was I blessed to be a part of an amazing community of scholarly leaders, but I was taught how to advocate for others and recognize and address social justice issues wherever I see them. The Oaks’ focus on transformative leadership empowers its members to make positive change in their community, whatever that community may be. I will always be thankful for the opportunity to be involved in this program, and I cannot wait to see the amazing things this program will continue to accomplish.”

Keir Jenkins (Oaks Class ‘21/NCSU Class ‘21)