During the last two months of 2018, M.S. Woods Real Estate collected essays written by current and prospective college students from around the country. Some live as close as Illinois and Michigan; others came from California, Florida, and even Hawaii. All wrote about the importance of home and community in setting a student on the path to success—both in higher education and the world beyond it.
Impressed as we were by the volume and caliber of the submissions we received, we could select only one winner for our scholarship. We at m.s.Woods offers our hearty congratulations to John William Leitz IV, an MBA student at Southeastern Louisiana University. His essay embodies the same eloquence, hard work, compassion, and commitment to home and community that define our own values as real estate agents. Congratulations, John! Check’s in the mail.
For more information about our next scholarship program, stay tuned to this blog. We will release the details of our deadlines, application requirements, and new essay prompt in the coming months.
Meanwhile, you can read John’s award-winning essay below:
Home? Family? Community? Are they one in the same, independent from each other, how do they connect, are they all intertwined? I think they can all be independent, but to truly benefit us they should all work as one. We can support one another in helping the community succeed, by fostering a positive environment for growth, education, inspiration, independence, and harmony. When we look back on society the happiest communities are not always the more affluent, but the ones that foster a sense of community.
Is it a family that makes a home, or is it just a place you live? I think that answer will vary depending on people’s experience, but for me a family makes the home. When I look back at my life experience I’ve lived in different homes, but where my family was has always been my home.
After being married for 5 years, my wife and I want to expand our family. We are doing this through adoption. We have just completed the process for international adoption from Colombia and are waiting to be matched with of a sibling group under 6 years old. For our children what will home and community be? They will speak a different language, look different compared to us, and live in a strange setting compared to what they are used to. That’s why we have worked on learning Spanish, how to cook Colombian food and reached out to the local Colombian community. These strong community bonds will help assimilate them to their new setting. That’s what community does, it helps its people adapt.
We want our children to stay connected, and remember where they came from, while still being a part of their new community. I believe the motivation of my growing home has encouraged me to go back to school for my MBA in Healthcare Management. Having a supportive community and family that motivates you to do better, will ultimately lead to your success. Having parents that went to college fosters that understanding and the value of an education, while supporting its goal. When your home, or community, supports its members, they will ultimately be more successful. For me it is all about family and community, helping one another. I have a favorite quote that we try to live by in our house, by Leo Buscaglia, “It’s not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something. May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of human-kind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely.” As a family of public school educators this is something we work to live out each day. We want to foster an environment of love, understanding, compassion, and hope for our students. We want to bring those same values to our children, and pass them on through our examples of action, such as getting coats for some students to go play in the snow for the first time, raising money to help a family have a better Christmas, or helping a family pay the electric bill. All of this helps not only those families we directly work with, but also to foster a better and more productive society in general. By earning my MBA, it is my hope that it will give us the means to do more for the greater good. If we all succeed, then our community succeeds.
This essay was published with the author’s permission.