Lawrence Robinson completed his undergraduate at Claremont-McKenna College as a 2003 Point Scholar, earning an honors degree in religious studies and government. He was again selected as a Point Scholar to continue his legal education at New York University. Now a Point Alumni, Lawrence is the Director of the Maricopa Community College District’s Center for Civic Participation and serves on the Executive Committee of the Arizona School Board Association. Point Scholars continue their incredible work for the community in a number of different ways once they graduate. Our Point family is always excited to hear about where each scholar’s journey leads, knowing they will continue their skills as leaders and influencers. We reached out to Lawrence to talk about how being a Point Scholar has impacted his work and the accomplishments he has made in his field.
How was your experience at this year’s National Leadership Conference (NLC)? How many have you attended over the years and how did this year’s compare to others?
As one of the more senior scholars, I’ve seen this organization expand into something that is truly unique. The evolution of the NLC is no different; it reaffirmed just how important the Point family has been in my life, allowed me the opportunity to meet a new group of impressive scholars, and also impressed upon me how professional and able the Point staff is to manage such a large undertaking. Out of the three NLC’s that I’ve had the opportunity to attend, this one was clearly the best executed.
What has been one of your favorite moments/achievements as a Point Scholar?
Obviously, the moments of receiving my degrees in college and then again in law school were a direct result of being a Point Scholar and the capstone of the investment that the organization has made in helping me achieve my dreams. But the personal moments of reconnecting with old friends at the NLC, meeting up in cities where other Scholars reside when I’m traveling, and watching each scholar grow are the most profound moments one can experience as a Scholar or alum.
Do you find that your time as a Point Scholar still impacts your life? If so, how?
Yes. The Point network never rests, in that I’m able to rely on our family for networking purposes, investment in my political campaigns, and the fellowship of a highly engaged and intellectual community. I hope that never changes.
What experiences as a Point Scholar do you think particularly prepared you for the work you’ve done with schools and policy?
In the early days of Point, I was blessed to attend various events, fundraisers, and other sessions that honed my ability to interact with individuals that quite frankly might have otherwise been intimidating: major donors, board members, other highly-qualified students, and celebrities. In the world I currently operate, I have to do the same thing. Whether it’s elected officials that I’m convincing to support a reform, a company CEO that I’m hoping will contribute to a community project, or my service on boards, I recognize that Point gave me an early leg-up on the skills necessary to win over influencers and accomplish my goals.
If you could give some advice to this year’s class of Point Scholars, what would it be?
Be yourself. Point has already determined that you “meet the cut,” so take a deep breath, rely upon your internal compass, and run your own race.
Lawrence Robinson completed his undergraduate at Claremont-McKenna College as a Point Scholar, earning an honors degree in religious studies and government. He was again selected as a Point Scholar to continue his legal education at New York University, where he earned membership to the Law Review. Learn more about Lawrence here.