Leadership Academy Scholar Quinn Cochran
Fredrick, Maryland

Major and Graduation

Architecture - Graduation Date: May 2017 

Short-Term Goals

My short term goal is enthusiastic personal development. I want to work on some of the areas that I have had some trouble with, such as organization, time management, and executive function. I want to improve my scheduling abilities and strengthen my capacity for self-motivation. By improving these fundamental, core skills, I will build a strong foundation from which I can launch the rest of my life. Not only will this make me a more well-rounded person, but a better leader.

However, I still want to improve on the skills that come more naturally to me. My interpersonal skills and creative problem solving must evolve with the rest of me. These skills will be tested as I transition to college life and a pre-professional course of study.

Additionally, I am working towards improving myself both mentally and physically. I have been improving my physical abilities through diet and exercise, and have been working diligently on my mental and emotional resilience. I must make sure that I am my best self so that I can best serve my community.

Long-Term Goals

My long term goal is to use my creativity and problem-solving abilities to do my part in helping to save the environment. I grew up in a place where I was taught the value and beauty of nature from a very young age. As I have grown up, I have started to see how damaged Mother Earth has become, and it is heartbreaking for me. I want to be an architect focused on designing buildings that have as little environmental impact as possible, especially using green technology. In the future, I hope to work with teams to design self-powering homes, green power plants, landmarks to discourage deforestation, and other buildings that can help to keep our planet healthy.

Music is an interest of mine. I am a vocalist and a pianist, and I compose music, as well. I have grown so much as a musician and as a composer in the last few years, and I hope that progress continues for the rest of my life!

I also hope to develop other sorts of creative ideas. Lateral thinking can lead to unexpected answers. For instance, I worked with educators to develop a curriculum (bit.ly/PokeMind) taught exclusively through the Japanese trading card game "Pokémon," a game that is often banned from schools due to how it tends to distract students from their work. This program teaches mental math, basic algebra, language, science, citizenship, organization, and even art. It was very important to me not to "hide the broccoli in the brownies." In other words, I did not want the educational aspects within the program to be hidden; I wanted them to be obvious, but not objectionable. Most children are smarter than people think, and they know when they are being taught. By showing them how learning these skills improves their ability to play the game, I was able to show them real-world examples of how learning this information relates to things they care about. That motivated them to "eat the broccoli" with no complaints.

When I ran workshops to test the curriculum, students who had struggled in traditional school made notable progress. Even better, at least one student had "caught up" with her peers by the time she went back to school. I was able to offer a solution to my community using creative thinking, and I was able to improve the lives of others. I want to raise up my community through practical, creative problem-solving to help improve the physical, social, and educational environment.

Leadership Experience

  • Music Arranger and Bass Section Co-Leader - Urbana High School A Capella Choir: Bass Section Co-Leader - Urbana High School Chambers Ensemble
  • Curriculum Writer and Main Educator- Pokémind - 2016-2019
  • Beside the Still Waters 4-H Club
    • President: 2017-2018
    • Vice President: 2015-2016
    • Treasurer: 2013-2014
    • Secretary: 2011-2012
    • Mentor: 2010 - Present
  • Day Leader - High adventure 4-H Club - 2013-2015