Leah Walsh

  • Major at OCC: Communications
  • High School: Auburn, class of 2015

Leah Walsh’s senior year of high school was similar to that of so many other students. She was busy applying to colleges, working a part-time job and having fun with her friends. A Ted Talk with an author named Rick Warren piqued her curiosity. Then she read his book, The Purpose Driven Life and everything changed. “I decided to take a gap year and enact on the very visions that brought me to life. So I bought a one-way ticket to Kenya, and continued to backpack through Europe.”

The experience transformed her life. Walsh decided she wanted to dedicate her life to helping others and her path would begin at OCC. “I came here so I could get my head back in the game and use OCC as my platform for what comes next. Rather than putting all of my money and time into a four-year school I thought it would be best to start here.”

Walsh served the campus community as Vice President of Clubs & Organizations in the Student Association. “I really enjoyed being a representative for students, listening, giving them a voice and standing up for them. I think students need that voice. I think our team has been really good about listening to students and responding to them.”

Walsh was also a member of the College Leadership Council, Diversity Council, Campus Funding Committee, the National Society of Leadership and Success, was Chair of the Unity Day event in April and is a member of the international honor society Phi Theta Kappa.

In the fall she’ll be attending either Syracuse University, New York University or a college in London as she pursues a communications-related career. She’s heading to a place she couldn’t have predicted just a few years ago. “My gap year served as the basis for everything that followed. Without it I wouldn’t have the ambition or motivation or mindset I have now. OCC turned out to be the right choice for me. It was a good steppingstone.”