From the SFLA Blog

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Marc Orlando Perseveres Through Challenges in Ohio & Looks Forward to Future Pro-Life Endeavors  

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Caroline Wharton - 30 Nov 2023
Guest post by SFLA Special Programs Coordinator Olivia Mullins

GUEST POST: Students for Life of America (SFLA) is proud to accept amazing students like Marc Orlando, a sophomore at Miami University, into our leadership programs through the National Leaders Collective (NLC). For the 2023-2024 school year, Orlando will be a part of the Invictus Men’s Fellowship, developing lifelong relationships with other male, pro-life student leaders nationwide and completing a project to help his campus and community. 

Get to know more about Orlando below:  

Why did Orlando join the pro-life movement? 

“During COVID, I was in a deep depression (as most people were). However, mine stemmed from my lack of a purpose in my life. I prayed to God to give me a purpose, something meaningful to do with my life. About two weeks after the worst part of my depression, I stumbled randomly upon a Ben Shapiro abortion argument video. Something clicked, and here I am.” 

Orlando and SFLA President Kristan Hawkins
How has Orlando grown as a pro-life leader already?  

Earlier this year, Orlando’s SFLA Regional Coordinator Jamie Curry recommended that he apply for the Invictus Fellowship. She recognized qualities of leadership in him that she knew would flourish further with training and mentorship. He was accepted into the fellowship for the 2023-2024 school year and attended the kickoff to the NLC in Washington, D.C. earlier this summer.  

Since then, Orlando has proved to be a true warrior for life. With Issue 1 on the ballot in Ohio, he sprang into action to do everything he could to spread the truth about abortion and defeat Issue 1. He hosted and attended several call nights and led his SFLA group’s tabling events this semester. 

But he didn’t stop there! Prior to the election, Orlando learned that political canvassing was allowed in his dorms. Over a period of four days, he canvassed 12 dorm buildings. That is approximately 1,500 dorm rooms (most of which held two people)! 

Orlando is very proud of that accomplishment, even though Issue 1 did ultimately pass in Ohio. He reflected on this experience saying, “That is a concept that we as pro-life warriors must learn: that even if we failed in the grand scheme, we had smaller victories along the way and grew in our skills as activists.”  

How has Orlando’s involvement with SFLA impacted him so far? 

Orlando said, “My experience with the other men in my fellowship has been stellar, which also could be said about my relationship with my mentor.” 

Orlando knows his journey as a pro-life activist has just begun and is looking toward the future to do even more for the preborn. Of his recent accomplishments, he stated, “However, all this pales in comparison to what I have planned next year. I plan to begin speaking on the issue of abortion on my campus as well as other college campuses close to me.”  

The Invictus Men’s Fellowship is just one of NINE different leadership opportunities within the National Leaders Collective. Applications open each January for group leaders of SFLA groups to apply for a year of mentorship, opportunities, and education with SFLA. 

Have questions about which program is the right program for you? Click HERE 

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