My second RSO I have been very passionate about this year is not affiliated with CMU. The past year and a half I have interned for a pastor at a local church, Potter’s House. I helped her with many different tasks, all on a volunteer bases. I have helped her teach anger management classes for young girls, I have worked in the nursery, planned events, and I have acted as an administrative assistant for, International Heart Cry, Pastor Carla’s non-profit. Most importantly though I have mentored a ten-year-old girl.
The little girl I mentor and I meet every Tuesday for one or two hours. We go to the library, Discovery Museum, the park and other fun locations. I have LOVED mentoring her, it is so rewarding to see her light up when we hang out.
Pastor Carla and Mount Pleasant Mental Health wrap around program have told me that they see such a huge improvement in this little girl’s behavior since we have begun meeting. She is at the top of her class education wise, and has had less behavior issues at school.
I have grown so much mentoring her, it has been so amazing learning about her and teaching her new things. I will continue meeting with her until I graduate from CMU. She just needed a friend and a positive role model in her life, and I was blessed with the opportunity to be that person.
During the Connections Conference, we had a chance to listen to different speakers discussing different topics. The speaker that stuck out most to me was Jamie Brown. Her presentation was really quite interesting. She related leadership back to her garden her and her daughter started over the summer. I related to this so much because it was so different. I have seen so many leadership speakers so the way she related it in a different was very interesting. Her slides were very intriguing, she had different images of her plants and they each related to a different leadership aspect.
My favorite vegetable she related leadership to was this plant that had overtaken her garden with its leaves and vines. She and her daughter were unsure if they should pull the plant since it was taking nutrients from the other plants but they let it grow. The strange plant then ended up producing one single green pumpkin. The green pumpkin then became their prized possession. The main point of her session was to find a balance between taking care of people and getting the task done. It gave us advice on how to provide support for our followers and how to use the leadership style we have obtained in the past to lead a group of people.
Jamie Brown did a wonderful job interacting with the audience and keeping things interesting. I would definitely love to sit in on another one of her sessions.
I walk into a big banquet hall. It’s full of chairs and tables and people. People are conversing, people in charge are directing and I stood there watching with a close eye, scanning the entire room, waiting to find my place. It may have seemed to me at that moment that it was just a room full of people. In some ordinary ballroom. Yet, this wasn’t some old ordinary ballroom. It was my home; it was my future.
We had been in the same ballroom for competition day. Competition day was the day I competed for the LAS scholarship. That is the day I got to prove that my leadership in high school actually meant something. The Leadership Advancement Scholarship is the reason I was currently in this ballroom again. One of the requirements was to attend a Women in Leadership Conference.
At the conference, we met new people, made connections and learned our leadership style. The funniest thing was my leadership style had changed in such a short amount of time. In February of 2016, I attended a Women in Leadership conference in Lansing. At that conference, I took the usual leadership test and received a lion. A lion was the dominant leader; it compared to the direct leadership type at spark leadership. The weird thing was during the Spark Leadership experience I was a spirited type. Pretty much the complete opposite of what I was in February. At the Women in Leadership conference, they told us to work on managing our leadership types and try and be more versatile. So it was very exciting to see that after taking the leadership quiz at Spark I had actually managed it more than I thought! I was now a spirited leader.
After eating lunch, we broke out into different groups where we performed different team bonding activities. One we had to direct our partner blindfolded through a “cave” and we couldn’t step on the mouse traps. Another activity we had to lead our partner blindfolded to pick up different objects around the room. We
learned teamwork and how to not get frustrated with one another.
At the end of the day, we reflected on what we learned. I enjoyed these sessions because the people who signed up actually wanted to be there. Everyone put forth a great effort and allowed me to learn so much!
Now that I have been able to experience Spark I am going to encourage others to attend. I learned so much about myself in such a short day. I learned that I have progressed as a leader in such a short amount of time, however, I also learned that I have room to grow. I am going to take the information I learned about myself and use it to become a better leader. Now I will be conscious of my decision making according to my type of leadership. Now I am going to use my leadership skills I learned during Spark to help others.