Center for Leadership Academy Scholar Sarah Kay Stephens
Austin, Texas

Major and Graduation

Architecture ~ May 2023

Short-Term Goals

My short-term goals revolve around finding a balance between personal and academic life. I have valued knowledge for as long as I can remember, but I have learned that pushing myself academically is only part of my over-arching goal. I love being surrounded by new people and deepening relationships with the people I already know. Currently, I am working on this balance as I pursue a degree in architecture. College can be a huge adjustment, but surrounding yourself with positive and inspiring people pushes you to work harder and develop yourself, not only as a leader but also as a human being. I wake up every day hoping to find inspiration that pushes me to become a better designer, as I work through discovering what architecture means to me, and how I want to use my experiences to change the world. I believe that conquering your short-term goals and daily challenges help you grow the most as a person and they help you learn what you are capable of accomplishing. Personally, I value hard work above all else and I try to put 100% of myself into everything that I do in both personal life situations and academic settings

Long-Term Goals

My long-term goal is to positively impact as many people as possible. Over the past five years, I have gotten a high-level view of a variety of non-profits while I have worked with Girls Giving Grants. This organization of 80+ girls is engaged in collective giving where every girl donates 100 dollars, reviews approximately 20 grant applications from local non-profits, and determines how to responsibly award a single nonprofit with our $8,000 grant. Through experiences such as this, I have learned that I want the goals in my life to incorporate helping others to have the best life possible. Over Thanksgiving break two years ago, I went to Houston, TX to volunteer with an organization known as Hurricane Harvey Recovery, and our team installed new drywall in a family’s home. From this, I learned how terrible it is to be displaced from your home. I have chosen to pursue architecture because I want to help people feel safe in their homes, and believe that this can be accomplished through well-designed and built spaces. My end goal is to run a non-profit that works to create structures in both developing countries and here in the United States that provide people with safe places to work, sleep, and play.

Leadership Experience

  • Leadership Academy Scholar- 2018-Present
  • AIAS Vice President- 2020-Present
  • Resident Advisor- 2019-Present
  • Project Manager- 2019-Present
  • Co-Fabrication Chair- Freedom by Design- 2018-Present
  • Junior Hawk- 2019