With effort come excellence. Become an Adidas Leadership Scholar. Images of the Adidas and KU Jayhawk logos.

Success by Design: Adidas Leadership Scholars

The Adidas Leadership Scholars program is designed for incoming KU students who identify in at least one of the following categories:

  • First Generation: parents (natural or adoptive) have not earned a college degree
  • Low income: based on federal guidelines as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Historically underrepresented minority: racial and ethnic populations that are disproportionally represented in higher education including Black, Latinx, Native, Pacific Islander

Scholars enter a comprehensive four-year leadership and development program involving accelerated coursework, leadership training, experiential learning opportunities, and community mentoring and service. The program will assist scholars by streamlining their educational experience to prepare them to graduate as scholars who can be leaders in their community.

Setting the Pace: Summer Success Academy and Year 1

The program's first priority is ensuring students have the skills and confidence to perform at the academic level expected at KU. This starts with the Summer Success Academy where students are enrolled in two college classes that will count towards graduation. In this fast pace experience students will learn what it takes to be successful in a college classroom.

Moving into the fall and the spring, students will meet regularly with staff to discuss their academic goals and interests. Staff will help students practice and develop skills that support their academic needs. Scholars will be exposed to academic resources like tutoring, supplemental instruction and the writing center, as well as structured study hall times, to explore what works best for them and their learning style. 

Scholars will also be required to participate in program and campus events to promote major exploration, academic development, and leadership skills. The events are also a great way to get to know other scholars in your cohort, and bond over similar interests. Scholars can expect 2-3 programs a month 

Practice Makes Perfect: Summer experiences

In the summer after their first, second and third year at KU, scholars will be required to participate in an experiential learning opportunity. This means scholars will be asked to engage in purposeful, meaningful experiences outside of the classroom in order to expand and enhance academic, personal and career interests. Scholars will work with staff to plan out these experiences based on their interests, and may be eligible for up to $2000 in funding from the program to support their experiences. Current scholars have used funding to support opportunities such as study abroad experiences, internships and research opportunities.

Moments of Impact: Year 2 and 3

As scholars enter their second and third years at KU, the program expects they have established a strong academic foundation, and are ready to start introducing experiences geared towards preparing them for their future. At this point scholars will begin focusing on experiences and events that allow for intentional development of self and career. This includes field trips to local and national industries to explore and learn more about various career opportunities; one-on-one coaching with a professional career coach; and program and campus events geared towards increasing a student’s professional skills such as communication, problem solving, team work, collaboration and leadership. All while still focusing on the academic goals the student has established.   

Going the Distance: Four to Finish

As scholars begin to wrap up their third year and move into their final years at KU, they will work with dedicated staff to develop a plan for their next steps and figure out what their legacy will be to KU. Our hope is for students to develop an intentional legacy to leave behind for the benefit of future scholars, KU or Lawrence community. 

Two Powerful Partners: KU and Adidas

Founded by abolitionists committed to equal opportunity, KU has a 150+ year history of breaking down barriers and improving access.  Adidas embodies the nobility of business, leveraging the power of sports to improve lives. These two powerful partners have joined together to support first-generation and Pell-grant eligible students through the Adidas Leadership Scholars. Overall, the goal of the program is to provide the financial and academic resources needed to guide students through their educational experience and graduate as scholars who will be leaders in their community. 


Jayhawk GPS is a Student Success Management System designed to establish an online connection between a student and their academic support network which includes their academic advisors, faculty, and other support staff.

Jayhawk GPS is a Student Success Management System designed to establish an online connection between a student and their academic support network which includes their academic advisors, faculty, and other support staff. Visit jayhawkgps.ku.edu for more information.

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