Story by LLI Volunteer William Pohlman
High atop the Riffe Center in Downtown Columbus on June 13, 2013, several hundred teachers, law students, board members, and LLI supporters gathered for the 2013 Leadership Reception. Treated to spectacular views on a crystal clear afternoon, the attendees honored Marion Smithberger, the Executive Director of the Columbus Bar Foundation, as the Exemplary Volunteer; the Columbus Bar Association Alliance as the Innovation Award winner; and the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio as the Exemplary Legal Supporter. In addition, State Representative Kathleen Clyde provided the keynote address.
Highlighting the event were the comments of Jervon Marquise Walker, pictured above, a recent alumnus of the LLI program in Columbus. Mr. Walker noted that LLI “is not something I can sum up in just one word, but there is a word I can express that represents my connection to the program, and that word is growth. I have grown with LLI in ways that I either would not have in any other program or at least, it would have taken me a lot longer to do so.” In describing his participation in the program, Mr. Walker explained “I had a great time during my time with [LLI]. I have gained contacts and life-long friends through LLI, people I hold deep to my heart, engraved in my memory. I love the Law and Leadership Institute because of the growth it helped me achieve, and any chance I get, I love to look back and see how much the program itself continues to grow.” Mr. Walker concluded by thanking those in attendance for their considerable time and effort in making LLI such a successful program.