McGowan Leadership Scholarship Award

Elizabeth Schafer

2018 McGowan Leadership Scholarship Recipient

Interested to learn what our scholarship recipients have been up to?

We caught up with recent scholarship recipient, Elizabeth Schafer, for a brief email interview. Keep reading for an update on Elizabeth’s life, her advice for this year’s applicants, and much more!

Elizabeth Schafer

What are you currently doing? 

Since receiving the Michael J. McGowan Leadership Scholarship I have graduated high school and now attend the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, Massachusetts. Last semester I had the opportunity to take several interesting classes including; drawing, art history, and my personal favorite, glassblowing.  These classes gave me a lot of work that I had never done before I am now just starting my second semester and am enjoying every minute of it.  I am constantly trying new things and learning new skills that I cannot wait to apply to my future career.

Share with us how leadership plays a role in your life today.

Since this is my first year in a new school and so much has changed I have not yet had the chance to receive any leadership positions at my college, but I am taking steps towards leadership positions.  I joined my school’s A Team in the CACP office (Center for Art and Community Partnerships).  The A Team allows me to help run different events which connect the school and community through artwork. As this semester begins I hope to get more involved with my school and the community of Boston as I am finally settling down and things become less hectic.

During my winter break, when I was back in my hometown of Long Island, New York I got the opportunity to go back to my high school and help my art teachers in their classrooms and plan events for my high school. Also, when I am home this summer I will continue working and leading the preschool program at my local art studio.

Do you have any advice for future applicants?

My advice for future applicants is be authentic and show those who are reading your scholarships a glimpse into your life.  The middle of senior year can sometimes be stressful as everyone is busy filling out scholarship applications, working on schoolwork, and participating in extracurricular activities all while trying to make important life decisions, such as deciding where to go through college.  Although it can be a lot, it is important to not slack off and stay focused.  After working so hard for so many years,, that is not the time to ease up.  Push through the last little bit and take the time to fill out the application to the best of your ability as it could have a major pay off in the future.

How did you display leadership qualities in high school that helped you get to where you are today?

During high school I displayed leadership qualities by getting involved in as many school and extracurricular activities as possible.  I was the President of my school’s Art Association and National Art Honor Societies.  I was a member of the National Honor Society and National Spanish Honor Society. I took many advanced placement classes that game me a lot of college credit and danced competitively and assisted classes at my local dance studio.  I also worked birthday parties, paint nights, fairs and other events at my local art studio as well as taught classes, and ran their preschool program.  In addition to that I remained active in NOAH.

Thanks so much for catching up with us, Elizabeth!

Feeling inspired by Elizabeth? We sure are!

You could be recognized for your leadership too – all you have to do is apply for the next Michael J. McGowan Leadership Scholarship Award! For more information on current application requirements and deadlines visit