One alum’s advice for getting to summit by ‘getting the gift’ from friends and family.
In the summer of 2018, I attended the Ambassador Leadership Summit at UCLA. Within my small group, I met people from all over the country and the world. Much of my group was from the East Coast, but one student in my group was from South Africa. During my summit experience, I learned that, although we were all from different parts of the world, we all had a lot in common, even if it wasn’t obvious at first.
To get to my summit, I decided to fund raise because the cost of tuition was a lot to come up with all by myself. First, I knew I had to do some planning in order to execute an effective fundraising idea. By collaborating with my parents and family, I was able to make a plan that I knew would work best for me.
My plan was simple: ask every person I know, whether from school, sports, family or friends, to contribute to my fundraiser. I decided to ask everyone because each person I know has impacted me in some way and shaped me into the person that I am. I wanted them to be a part of my summit experience too.
To get sponsorships, I mailed out letters with information about the summit and an explanation of how attending would positively affect my future along with self-addressed and stamped return envelopes for contributions. I asked people to consider sponsoring me on my leadership journey, and it turns out a lot of people were willing to help me achieve my goal. In the end, sponsors covered well over half of the cost of my summit tuition.
One of the things that made my fundraiser so successful was my willingness to ask everyone I knew to help and letting them know that their contribution, no matter the amount, would make a difference and be appreciated. After the first few people I mailed letters to actually contributed, the process of asking got easier. So, if you’re feeling nervous, start with those you’re closest to in order to build confidence. Five dollars here, ten dollars there, it all adds up in the end. I also started fundraising early, making a mailing list of all the people who might help me, so they had time to find sponsorship money in their budgets.
My best advice to students hoping to attend a summit of their own is simply to ask for help. Nothing bad comes from asking and it shows people that you’re thinking of them and want them to be part of your journey. Trust me, the more people you ask and the more sponsorships you receive, the more excited you will feel because the reality will set in that you will reach your goal of attending an Ambassador Leadership Summit. Good luck!
Editors Note: We were so inspired by Myles’ advice we created a sponsorship flyer and a return slip your sponsors can include with checks they mail in. Be sure to print these and include them with your personalized sponsorship letter.
By Myles Witte
Myles is an alum of the 2018 Ambassador Leadership Summit at UCLA. He spends his spare time coaching a 7th-8th grade boy’s flag football team and plans to coach a middle school basketball team this upcoming season. He hopes to study at the University of Utah to become a pediatrician.