When Daylan Williams recently found out he had been chosen for Scholar Athlete of the Week by KMBC 9 news and Hy-Vee, he says he was ecstatic.

By RIMSIE McCONIGA
rmcconiga@leavenworthtimes.com


When Daylan Williams recently found out he had been chosen for Scholar Athlete of the Week by KMBC 9 news and Hy-Vee, he says he was ecstatic.
Daylan’s Lansing High School guidance counselor, Wes Cackler, was contacted by KMBC to submit the school’s top seniors in the area of athletics and academics. When the KMBC selection board took a look at Daylan’s packet of activities, scholastic record and accomplishments in sports, they determined he was one of the top seniors in these categories in the greater Kansas City area.


As he prepares to graduate and head for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, his high school achievements tell the story of a young man who strives to be the best he can be and his list of accomplishments has continued to grow. The list could also explain why West Point wants him to continue his education at the much esteemed military academy.


When Sen. Jerry Moran called him to announce his West Point appointment, Daylan says he was caught off guard at first when he noticed the call was from the Washington, D.C., area but then it all clicked and he was nervous and excited before he even answered the phone call. During the call the only thing he could say was, “thank you” and “yes, sir.”


“I can only imagine the look on my face – pure joy and accomplishment,” says Daylan.
At West Point he is most looking forward to the challenge of his leadership skills.
“I will be surrounded by many of the nation’s top young leaders and after it is all said and done I will push myself to stay on the right side of the bell curve,” he said. “I am also looking forward to the physical challenges I will face at the academy. I am training by not letting up in my current leadership roles and conducting physical fitness training regularly.”


After his West Point graduation he will serve a minimum of five years in the Army.  He plans to major in management with a concentration in public administration.
“I have always wanted a career in the military, however, as I become more involved in our community and see the rising challenges facing our nation’s leadership I may serve my country in another capacity,” says Daylan. “Even with all of that said, that will be a decision to make in the future after I have lived a little more.”


Daylan says his rules for striving to be the best he can be are simple in thought, but harder in practice because nobody is perfect. He adheres to his rules.
“My rules are: 1. Know yourself,” says Daylan. “Knowing is half the battle. I believe that if you do not know who you are then you will not know what you want. Disclaimer: you will not always know who you are. That is why it is important to constantly challenge yourself and never stop learning. 2. Set goals. Shoot for the stars and hit the moon. You won’t land on the moon by shooting for nothing. Plain and simple. 3. Have a mentor/role model/or someone you want to be like for every aspect of your life. Having one mentor in life is great but I like to think I can model my life after multiple people and personalities. I can take the things I appreciate most from them and still be my own person. This means I won’t just become a replica of that one mentor. 4. Be active and involved. Being active and involved will lead you to more opportunities than you can imagine. Life is about growing and you won’t grow if you never give yourself the opportunity to grow.”


Daylan began a project called Leavenworth Lansing Community Corners about four months ago to connect people within the Leavenworth and Lansing communities and encourage citizens and leaders to become more actively involved. He conducted interviews with local business leaders, representatives, educators and local residents and presented his findings at Lansing High School on May 5. He discussed the background of the community, things happening in the community right now, things that need to change and where the community is headed. He will be sharing the live video from this presentation soon.


“I started the Leavenworth Lansing Community Corners as a way to house my advanced studies project into community relations,” says Daylan. “I decided that I wanted to study the community because of the political and social landscape of our country at the time. I believe that only through acting as a true community we can overcome these challenges and move forward together. 


“The group is transitioning into a student service organization. My goal before leaving for West Point is to have a deal set up with both high schools to have a chapter; however, the group will be tied to the community (Leavenworth and Lansing) and not either school. This is a very important thing for the community because it will encourage citizens of all ages to get out and be involved. I see and hear too many people complain and offer no solution than I do citizens that actually stand up and do something about it.”


He has also organized two annual USD469 district-wide charity drives, was a junior leader at a Leavenworth DARE summer camp and  is a member of Student United Way. He was also a volunteer during the Special Olympics swim clinic.


For all his accomplishments and honors, Daylan is thankful for his family.
“My family has been nothing but supportive in all my endeavors and very proud of my accolades,” says Daylan. “The achievements I am most proud of from high school are those that not only speak of me but speak to what this community has going on. By this I mean, being on a scale that is larger than local recognition. Being named the Outstanding Student of the Great Plains Youth Leadership Conference in 2018, being named a Hy-Vee and KMBC Scholar Athlete in 2019, being selected as the Kansas Sons of the American Revolution’s Outstanding Cadet in 2018 and being elected as the 2018 Boys State of Kansas’Attorney General are a few achievements that I believe represent this idea.”


Happy Mother’s Day

"My mom is clearly one of my biggest supporters. She always provides me with direction when I come to her for help. I also admire her strength and drive because as a single parent she, for a majority of my life, had to fill the role of two parents. Thank you for all that you have done for me! I love you, Mom."

Daylan

And so far .....

Daylan’s academic achievements include:
Kansas Honor Scholar 2018-19  
National Honor Society
National English Honor Society
National Society of High School Scholars
Best Officer Award at Topeka Model United Nations
Recipient of the Lansing Educational Foundation Certificate of Achievement for Outstanding Academic Performance (2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2014-2015 and 2015-2017)
Athletic achievements:  
Multiple varsity letters
15th place national Ultimate Raider - Male 2018
Lansing swim team captain 2019
Academic All-American 2019
Lansing tennis team captain 2019
JROTC achievements:
Leavenworth JROTC drill team commander 2017
The Nationals Drill Camp Best Cadet in Platoon 2017
Leavenworth JROTC Most Improved Male Raider 2017
Battalion commander (2018-present)
Battalion command sergeant major (2017-2018)  
Leavenworth Pioneer Battalion leadership team commander (2017-2018)  
Leavenworth Pioneer Guard drill team commander (2017-2018)  
Kansas State Sons of the American Revolution
Outstanding JROTC cadet recipient (2018)
Great Plains Youth Leadership Conference Outstanding Student (2018)
Leavenworth Pioneer Battalion LET 1&2
Cadet of the Year (2015-2016 and 2016-2017)  
Vietnam Veterans of America Award (2016-2017)
Leavenworth Pioneer Battalion Superior LET 1 cadet (2015-2016)  
Kansas National Guard JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge (JCLC)  
Platoon honor graduate - 2017
Company honor graduate- 2018