Leading Scholar Award winner Mitchell Delong is on track to succeed with a full ride.

When Mitchell DeLong crashed during a cross-country ski race, a full ride scholarship essay wasn’t the first thing that came to mind. But the experience indirectly led to him earning Michigan Technological University’s prestigious Leading Scholar Award. With this scholarship, Mitchell will attend Michigan Tech’s School of Business and Economics to study management with a concentration in supply chain and operations management.

Students who applied for the scholarship were required to write an essay that answers the question, “Leaders have the ability to ask outstanding questions that make people think and inspire action. What question do you feel you should answer for this scholarship application?” Mitchell reflected back on an eventful day when he wiped out during the middle of a critical time trial. Just a few seconds after the crash, Mitchell remembered his coach’s pre-race pep talk: “If you feel comfortable, you’re not trying hard enough.” Despite a painful injury, these words propelled him to finish the race and earn one of the top times.

"Being uncomfortable is not a sign of
insecurity, but a result of pushing yourself
to the edge of your potential."Mitchell Delong

Mitchell leveraged his coach’s words and his personal experience to answer the essay question, “How uncomfortable are you willing to feel?” He answered his own query with incredible insight, musing about the power of perseverance. He wrote, “Being uncomfortable is not a sign of insecurity, but a result of pushing yourself to the edge of your potential.

”Mitchell already has an outstanding track record of success and ambition. He grew up in Michigan Tech’s backyard, attending Calumet High School, just a few miles north of campus. He was president of his graduating class and the school’s National Honor Society chapter, and managed to win three cross-country ski state titles.

With his drive, ambition, eloquence, and commitment, Mitchell DeLong is sure to be an asset to the incoming freshman class at Michigan Tech.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.