Award Winning Owl: James LeGette
Photo Courtesy of James LeGette

James LeGette excels on and off the field. The special education student in the College of Education and Human Development at Temple University, expecting to graduate in 2024, received the Otto and Della Englert Scholarship, a prestigious award given to high-achieving students in the special education program.

While being enrolled full-time at Temple, LeGette also works as a youth mentor, camp manager, and special education assistant teacher for emotional support classrooms. In each of these roles, he is committed to being an encouraging, uplifting, and inspiring mentor for the students. LeGette applies lessons from the classroom directly to his work. He is committed to connecting with and inspiring other classmates and colleagues to be the best version of themselves.  

Like the previous recipients, LeGette goes beyond achieving excellence on campus. He's also making a mark on the sidelines as a member of the Philadelphia Eagle's Cheerleading Squad. LeGette is one of the two men on the Eagle cheer squad, following in the footsteps of Kyle Tanguay, who in 2019 became the Eagle's first male cheerleader in 35 years. 

One of the biggest challenges LeGette says he faces is balancing academics and extracurriculars. In addition to the cheerleading squad, LeGette is also involved in Temple's gymnastics club and the education honor society. He says he manages his schedule through a wholistic routine. 

"I implemented a strict time-management strategy, creating a detailed schedule that allows me to allocate sufficient time to both academic responsibilities and personal interests," says LeGette. "Setting realistic goals, creating a study schedule, and adhering to deadlines help in staying organized and focused." 

The scholarship, which LeGette said he learned about from previous recipients, helps validate his work in academics and extracurriculars. In addition to financial support, LeGette shares, "The scholarship encouraged him to remain focused on his goals as a student and future educator. It relieved some financial stress that would result in him spending his time working rather than on academics."  

LeGette mentions receiving the scholarship provided "a source of encouragement and a reminder that hard work and dedication are recognized and rewarded." 

He encourages current and future students to seek out scholarship opportunities. When applying for scholarships, LeGette advises students to "tailor your application to highlight not only your academic achievements, but also your personal qualities, experiences and aspirations that align with the values of the scholarship." 

In addition to the financial support received through this scholarship, LeGette emphasizes his experience at the College of Education and Human Development has been underlined with support and encouragement from faculty and staff. A critical factor, he says, is the focus on real-world applications of coursework.  

"The encouragement to explore research opportunities and the emphasis on practical applications of knowledge have equipped me with the skills necessary for real-world challenges," says LeGette.  

The resources awarded to LeGette have allowed him to open doors to networking and mentorship. These opportunities help him get a jumpstart in his career and support him beyond Temple. Visit our website to learn how you can support students like James.