Montana State University Leadership Fellows students inspired to make a difference

"We’re sending out students who want to make a difference in the world," said Deirdre Combs, an adjunct University College instructor. She said she was "ridiculously proud" of the dozen students in her class who presented their leadership ideas Wednesday morning at the Procrastinator Theatre.

The Montana State University Leadership Institute

Being a single mom and trying to earn a college degree while raising two children — one disabled — has taught Sara Landry a lot about leadership.

Landry, 36, told classmates Wednesday at Montana State University that her 12-year-old son has significant health problems, including epilepsy, autism and diabetes. To help him, she has had to become a problem-solver, multi-tasker and a teacher.

Life has given her, she said, "a first-hand crash course in how to be a leader."

Landry said she wants to start a support group for kids like her 8-year-old daughter, to "shine a spotlight" on siblings who often get overlooked when parents are preoccupied with a child with disabilities.

She is one of about 40 students just finishing MSU’s fall classes in leadership foundations. Started a year ago, the class encourages students to find what they’re passionate about, come up with plans for their future and ways to work for change.

By GAIL SCHONTZLER, Chronicle Staff Writer

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