Leah Ranta, College of Saint Benedict
Leah Ranta, a junior at College of Saint Benedict, is a student leader committed to meeting the basic human needs of people around the world. She believes that the most effective way to address poverty is to listen to the local population about what they need, and to collaborate with them to meet those needs. Leah has put these beliefs to action through service experiences locally, nationally, and internationally. As a part of the Bonner Leader Scholarship program, Leah volunteered with Southside Boys & Girls Club, running afterschool programming for diverse at-risk youth in St. Cloud, MN. Leah spent a winter break in the mountains of Holden Village, WA, learning about sustainable composting practices and doing manual labor for the village; and a spring break in Kansas City, MO, where she worked for an organization that cares for children living below the poverty line. During her sophomore year, Leah studied in Kolkata, India, where she taught English to women who had been abused and trafficked in the region of West Bengal. Leah is also involved in the campus entrepreneurial team, Enactus, where she mentors students volunteering for the first time and helps them discover their own leadership potential.