5 Things: Leah Cordy
It literally came down to the flip of a coin. Leah Cordy had narrowed her college choice to the Berg and a much larger public institution. At the 11th hour, she decided to leave her decision to chance. The coin came up heads for Heidelberg. But there were a few other strong factors in Heidelberg’s favor. “When I got here for my visit, it just felt good. It felt like home,” says Leah, who brought with her enough College Credit Plus credits to enter as a sophomore. It helped tremendously that Heidelberg was the only school that would accept all of those credits and count them as both gen eds and electives.
Leah is someone who knows what she wants, and she wanted to graduate in three years AND study abroad twice during her undergrad experience. “I came in with my to-do list, and somehow, I got to do it all,” she says. Heidelberg’s faculty and staff worked diligently with her to make her goals happen so she didn’t have to change her political science and international studies double major and German minor.
Leah wasted no time at all in planning her first study abroad experience. Her first week on campus, she took the Study Abroad Fair by storm. “I talked to everyone I could and grabbed a stack of books and dog-eared a bunch of pages,” Leah recalls. Next, she met with Julie Arnold in the Office of International Affairs and Studies to plan the logistics of her first trip. Impressed by Leah’s organizational skills, Julie offered her a job in the office. Leah spent a summer in Heidelberg, Germany, through the Heidelberg @ Heidelberg Program. She tacked on 3 weeks and was able to visit a total of 10 countries. First experience, check. Her second experience, to South Africa in the spring semester last year, was a bit more of an adventure that started off with Leah hospitalized with an unusual fever. “I’ve never been so scared in my entire life,” she says. But she coped, got better quickly and ended up having an unforgettable experience. One week out of the hospital, she climbed to the top of Table Mountain, overlooking Cape Town. She calls it “the best moment of my life.”
Sisters in Shelter
In addition to her Honors Program courses, Leah is completing an internship this semester with Sisters in Shelter, a local safe house that assists victims of human trafficking and domestic violence. On her first day, she worked with a survivor on a housing issue – a surprise because Leah was told her only responsibility would be to raise funds for the safe house. “I’m really excited to be working with an organization like this,” she says. “One day I would like to open a non-profit that is similar to Sisters in Shelter.” Leah is proud of the Greek community who stepped up with donations to the organization in its quest to reopen.
With her interest in working with issue-based politics one day, it might surprise you to know that Leah spent much of her childhood and early teen years dreaming of becoming an actress and model. “All I wanted was to be on Disney,” she says. “I actually had an agent at one time.” But 15-year-old Leah decided she wanted to focus her life on helping people, so she did a 180. After completing her MBA at Heidelberg in 2021, Leah plans to head to grad school and ultimately hopes to one day work in Washington, D.C. for the State Department or for a non-profit.
Hello … universe speaking
One of the items on Leah’s bucket list is going skydiving. She’s so committed that three times, she has booked appointments to take the leap, and all three times, her dive has been canceled. “Maybe that’s the universe trying to tell me something,” Leah says. But she has no plans to remove it from her bucket list just yet.