With a mother who is Director of Out Patient Services at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, Landon has been fascinated with medicine from an early age. He played with first aid kits, and always volunteered to help when other kids had scrapes or cuts. His dream is to become a nurse anesthetist (CRNA, DNAP). He will attend Luther College in Deborah, which has a ling standing connection with Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.
But first he had to navigate the hostile parochial school system he was attending. Coming out in the 8th and 9th grades, he faced a very dark period and thought of suicide. Many family discussions followed, as his parents worked to understand. Landon wrote letters to other parochial schools that discriminated against LGBTQ students and teachers, and was heartened when another student at his school received a Matthew Shepard Scholarship in 2016. Unfortunately that award led the diocese to ban the scholarships at their school, and their LGBTQ students from receiving financial aid.
He tried to start a Gat Straight Alliance, but was encouraged to make it an Amnesty International Chapter instead. Whenever the chapter touched on LGBTQ issues, and despite numerous meetings with administrators, archdiocesan leaders and priests, "their unfair actions and policies are still being neglected."
Senior year, Landon transferred to a public school, where he feels more empowered and safe, and able to pursue important issues. His mental health improved dramatically, and his journey was covered in depth by his new high school newspaper. "Having seen a fellow classmate be recognized at school, I know this scholarship helps promote LGBTQ rights. I would be ecstatic to have the same honor."