COLA Confidence Month

Bringing back a piece of the COLA experience

#COLAConfidence, #COLAPride 

It’s COLA Confidence Month!! We are dedicating all of August to appreciating the amazing program that COLA is and bringing back a piece of the experience to your feeds and timelines. Throughout August, we will be sharing COLA history and facts about COLA, meeting the leadership team and board of executives that help make COLA what it is, posting multiple throwback photos (as far back as the beginning of COLA in 2011!), and checking in on you all and what you’ve been up to since your COLA experience. During COLA Appreciation Month, we encourage you to reach out to people from your cohort or COLA class! To continue the celebration and reflect on your COLA experience, follow us on social media.

Black Lives Matter

Throwback to Our Previous Event

#BlackLivesMatter, #ICan’tBreathe

Thank you to those of you who were able to attend our virtual panel discussion last month. We had an amazing conversation with the panelists about the Black Lives Matter movement, what it means to be Black in America, and how we can act on yesterday’s discussion. We enjoyed interacting with you all in the chat and reading your questions and comments. Arpita Patel, an attendee at the BLM Panel and COLA Alumna, expressed “The virtual BLM panel discussion taught me that educating yourself is the first action necessary to take when fighting for equity and social justice. The panelists provided incredible insight on some of their personal experiences and how others can be an ally to communities that are not their own. I am grateful for the opportunity to have heard from such great leaders and am ready to apply what they have taught me into my life in order to help make change in the world.”

To support your efforts in taking action and making a positive contribution, we have attached a resource document where you will also find contact information and social media handles for all of the panelists. Lastly, for those of you who were unable to attend or would like to share the virtual event with others, we have attached a link to our YouTube channel below, there you will find a playlist with the recording of the virtual panel. 

Resource Document:

YouTube Channel:

Alumni Committee Spotlight

Highlighting the Faces of COLA

#FacesOfCOLA, #COLAPride 

Hayden Mankin is a graduate of the COLA Class of 2017. He is also a member of the COLA Alumni Committee. In an effort to help you all get to know us better, we wanted to feature our committee members alongside the Alumni Spotlight recipient.

As a rising third-year student at Wright State University, Hayden is studying Computer Science and Mathematics while completing a teacher licensure program on multi-age computer skills. During his time on campus, Hayden has served as a Resident Assistant–and was recently promoted to Head RA–helped the E-sports club in building his school’s campus on Minecraft, worked with ResLife and Housing as Programming Chair, and participated in Engaged Citizens–a community service course offered by the University that addressed children experiencing poverty and adverse childhood experiences in the Dayton area.  

Hayden expresses that COLA propelled him to take on more leadership roles during his senior year in high school and at Wright State. COLA allowed him to view a different perspective of leadership. He was able to learn that a leader can vary in style and characteristics and can be someone others look up to. COLA also exposed Hayden to people of different political beliefs in Columbus, he enjoyed being able to meet and learn from groups of people in his class during his COLA experience. Hayden hopes to see COLA expand within the next few years, create a bigger connection with leaders and organizations in Central Ohio, and continue to keep its spirit and legacy alive. 

During quarantine, Hayden continued to assist the E-sport club, attended ResLife virtual conferences, worked on some of his web designing projects, and tapped into building on his personal growth. You could probably find Hayden eating Buffalo wings at WingStop–as that and hot sauce are his favorites.

COLA Facilitators’ Spotlight 

Highlighting the Faces of COLA

#FacesOfCOLA, #COLAPride 

Meet Dominique McClean | 2019 Facilitator, Cohort B 

Dominique McClean is a rising third-year student at Boston University School of Law. Originally from Boston, she earned a degree in Women’s, Gender, Sexuality Studies from The Ohio State University. In her spare time, she enjoys the Buckeyes, brunch, and Beyoncé. 

Meet Nathan Minns | 2019 Facilitator, Cohort C

Nathan is a 2015 COLA alumna and currently serves as a member of the COLA Board. He is a recent graduate of The Ohio State University, an actor, and entrepreneur. Nathan is passionate about helping others realize their potential, and connecting them with like-minded individuals.  

Meet Kevin Gilmore | 2019 Facilitator, Cohort A

Kevin currently serves as Program Manager of a VCC Middle & High School/Summer Programs at Vineyard Community Center. Originally from Toledo, OH, Kevin is a chef by trade earning his Culinary Arts degree from Columbus Culinary in 2009. He has also studied Social Work and Music at the University of Toledo. 

Meet Marty Judge | 2019 Facilitator, Cohort D

Marty graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame in 2016. She recently completed her Masters in Secondary Education at Loyola Marymount University. Marty hopes to be a high school social studies teacher that empowers young students to be critical thinkers and create change in their communities. 
We hope to feature more facilitators on social media, so stay tuned for those.

The Alumni Committee,
Alejandro Duque, Hayden Mankin, Stephanie Ogonuwe, Jordan Reeves, Sonam Rustagi, Taylor Thompson, Madison Voinovich