GPYouth USA Featured Leader: Luke Yakawich

Kimihira Miyake
December 28, 2016

Leaders set a foundation that others will build off of. Each generation raises the next.

Luke Yakawich speaking at the National Constitution Center during IYLA.

Global Peace Youth recognizes Global Ambassador Luke Yakawich, a graduate of the 2014 International Young Leaders Assembly and this month’s Featured Leader. He is a senior at Montana State University in Bozeman studying to be an industrial management systems engineer. Luke is active on his campus as an officer for the Electro-Chemical Society, a member of the American Society for Engineering Management, and as the Volunteer Service Coordinator for his fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon, where he gained national recognition as the latest recipient of the Award for Excellence in Brotherhood.

Throughout his years at MSU, Luke successfully coordinated service projects between college students and the local Bozeman community with nonprofits like Big Brother Big Sisters and Habitat for Humanity. Luke explained why he became so involved in service activities while being a full-time student saying, “It’s not enough to just talk the talk and go after a degree without thinking about how to make a real difference right now. I want to be a role model for other college students and younger kids.” As part of the Electro-Chemical Society, Luke also contributes to mentoring Bozeman middle and high school students interested in the science fields.

Fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon at Montana State University in Bozeman. Luke is pictured second to the right on the bottom row.

Luke recalled a fellow MSU peer and friend who likened a good leader to a “well-oiled wheel.” “There are some people who make a lot of noise, like a ‘squeaky’ wheel on a wagon, drawing attention to themselves and the issues. But a good leader maintains him or herself well, creating solutions so that everyone can move forward. Like a well-oiled wheel, those kind of leaders won’t get a lot of attention or recognition all the time, but they get things done.”

When asked why he believes in the importance of moral and innovative role models, Luke responded, “Leaders set a foundations that others will build off of. Each generation raises the next. Planning and balancing service activities, school, and everything else takes a lot of time and effort. Serving others and being a good role model isn’t easy but the right thing to do is not always the easiest thing to do.”

Luke shared his advice to other current and aspiring leaders saying, “Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. With my projects I didn’t know who to talk to or what was going to happen but as I met people and talked with them, did projects, I built a relationship that can be carried on into the future. People get to know what you stand for and they will love to do projects with you because of your values.”

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