Leadership Education

HST 110L

For my Leadership Advancement Scholarship, we are required to take certain classes to fulfill our protocol. During the second semester of my freshman year, we were required to take HST 110L: American Experience. This class explored immigration in early America and how it influenced our country to be the way it is today.

41kK2H2t92L._SX348_BO1,204,203,200_During this class, we were required to purchase two books, Post-Ethnic America by David A. Hollinger, and Major Problems in American Immigration History by Mae M. Ngai, and Jon Gjerde. We were required to write two five-page paper61jKVbeDAhL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_s, four exam papers and we required to do a group presentation on a famous immigrant. Each one of these assignments challenged my beliefs and understanding of immigration. It caused discussions which enabled students to learn more about our history as a country and those who immigrated to it. We learned stories of the first settlers all the way up to those immigrated to America due to the Irish Potatoe Famine. This class gave me a better understanding on why and how immigrants during the nineteenth and twentieth century immigrated to America.

Now that I have taken this course I want to learn more about my ancestors and how they came to America. Over Christmas break, my dad was able to participate in Ancestry.com. He found out where his ancestors are from, when they came here and how they got here. I was not very interested during Christmas break when my dad first received his information in the mail, However, now that I have learned more about immigration during that time I have been more interested in my dad’s results.

This class challenged my beliefs and made me want to understand more about immigration into America in the past and today.

Community · Leadership Development

LAS in the D Reflection

On February 10, 2017,  74 LI members and I took off towards the beautiful city of Detroit. Yes, this trip was a requirement for my scholarship, and yes it looks good on a resume, however, I know for a fact that 75 students WANTED to go on this trip, and that 75 students lives were changed.

For my Leadership Advancement Scholarship, we are required to participate in the LAS in the D service trip. Every year the freshman cohort travel to Detroit to participate in service projects, such as working with students from Jalen Rose Leadership Academy and helping out CASS social services. This trip is planned by an entire LEAD team, put on by students. This trip was so amazing because of this special set of upper-classmen students and I cannot thank them enough for their hard work and dedication to this trip.

On Friday, February 10th at 10:30 the bus took off to Detroit. One of my favorite parts about service trips are the bus rides. Laughing and making memories with my cohort is a huge part of what this scholarship is about. When we arrived at Jalen Rose Leadership Academy we were all feeling the same emotions: excited, however, nervous. Jalen Rose Leadership Academy is a charter school aimed towards leadership. They use leadership in much of their studies and are also emersed in the culture of college. It is located on the Northwest side of Detroit and reaches 400 9th-12th grade students. Our job at this school was to get in groups with the students and participate in initiatives. Initiatives are small activities aimed at broadening your mind. They usually have a metaphor to relate alongside them. Their purpose is to teach a lesson in a fun way.

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Partaking in Initiatives alongside the Jalen Rose students was such an amazing experience. These kids know more about leadership than I do as a college freshmen. They have been immersed in so many leadership theories that I am just now being introduced to. They are some pretty incredible kids. Each and every one of them were excited to be there, and they had the desire to learn.

After working with the students at Jalen Rose Leadership Academy we drove towards downtown Detroit to have dinner at Quicken Loans. Driving downtown Detroit was absolutely mesmerizing. I had only traveled there as a kid, and I never really appreciated how beautiful this city actually was. When we arrived at Quicken Loans we were taken to a modern conference room where they served us Chicago Styled pizza and other goodies. We were lucky enough to have a CMU alumni, who was a recruiter at Quicken Loans, give us a presentation on the internships they offer there. Fortunately, the Vice President of Quicken was eating with us, and he took over the presentation. He demonstrated WHY he worked for Quicken, not what they do there. This was intriguing to most of us college students. He was so very passionate about what he and his company were doing for Detroit. They are not just a mortgage company, they are rebuilding Detroit. I thought that this stop on the trip was so amazing. The people that work for Quicken Loans have a reason for what they are doing, they come to work every day with a passion and drive to make a difference. The Vice President of Quicken Loans, John Fikany  actually left his job at Microsoft to work for Quicken Loans because he believed they had a better WHY for why they went to work every day, “Everything they (the Quicken Loans leadership team) stand for aligns very well with what I want to be a part of, how they take care of their people and the company culture over there, They have a sense of humility but also a confidence and grit that’s almost startup-like”- John Fikany.

After the amazing presentation put on by Quicken Loans, they took us on tours around their facilities. Their buildings and offices were above and beyond amazing. It looked like a play place for adults. Their culture at Quicken Loans is centered around family, fun and hard work. You can tell by just walking around their buildings that this company cares for its employees.

After our time at Quicken Loans, we traveled to the Detroit Institute of Arts to bond with our cohort and appreciate the art together. I bonded with everyone so much trying to figure out our way around the museum, and taking pictures with each other. It was such a great experience appreciating the art and recognizing how beautiful Detroit is.

After a long day of service and touring Detroit it was time to head to the Outdoor Adventure Center where we planned on sleeping. The Outdoor Adventure Center was created to provide the city of Detroit with the up north feel. It was created to open the minds of city folk to how amazing the outdoors actually are. Sleeping at the outdoor center was such an amazing experience. Not only did we get to tour the facility, and play on the structures we also got to listen to Linda Walter give an amazing speech about how the only way Detroit is going to keep improving is for people like us to have a dream and to bring businesses to the city.  It was very inspiring to witness her passion for what she does at the Adventure center. This trip was one to remember because I got to witness people in leadership explain their why statements. All of them had a dream or a reason WHY they were doing what they do. It only inspires me more to create and act on my WHY statement.img_2090

The next morning, as we all rolled out of bed, we all complained how tired we were. I complained, of course, however, after washing my face and putting my hair up I reflected back on WHY we were in Detroit. We were there to make a difference, my WHY for the weekend was to “be the change”. So I instantly decided to change my attitude and look forward to the busy day ahead of us.

On the last day, we were volunteering at CASS Social Services. They do a multitude of difference things to help the community. Saturday was the day I had my revelation of WHY we were there. As we drove to the other side of the city where things were not as nice as the GM building or Quicken Loans, I realized that I was making a difference. img_2043We drove through streets with buildings crumbling, trash all over and abandoned vehicles. It was an eye opener to see how differently people on this side of the city lived. It made me want to volunteer even more than ever before.

At CASS Social Services there were three groups, the paper shredders, the kitchen staff and the floor mat makers. I was lucky enough to be a part of the floor mat makers. It was really interesting to me because they used recycled tires that littered Detroit to create intricate mats of all different colors. They employed people with disabilities to allow a better future. I thought that was really inspiring because not only were they cleaning up img_2089Detroit from littered tires, they were also providing jobs for those who could not work a real one.

During my time making the mats I was able to talk with a man that worked there. It was really neat to hear his story. He told me his WHY was “to see kids like us working for common good”. I thought him expressing how thankful and inspired he was to see us volunteer was, even more, motivation for me. I want to inspire others to do good in the world. I want to “Inspire others to see themselves as the change in the world”.

Overall this trip was more than just a typical “service” trip. I learned more about myself, my why statement and Detroit than ever before. I have come to realize that you cannot change the world overnight, however, if people have a WHY statement or a DREAM things will be accomplished. I have 100% faith that Detroit will rise up again in my lifetime and I owe it all to the people who love Detroit as much as the people I met on this trip.

Now that I have been on this trip and I have been able to reflect more and more, I have decided that now I am going to be more aware of other people and the lives that they live. Going to Detroit opened my eyes. Everyone in the world does not live the life that I do every day. It is now more important to me to help other people, even if it is a small deed, everything counts. Life is too short to be selfish. Now I am more aware and I have a drive to help. I am going to bring up Detroit to my Rotaract club to see if there are any service projects we could do to help. I am hoping that we can do something with the money we have raised to help the city of Detroit. My goal is to raise awareness and allow people to see WHY people are so passionate about helping Detroit.

Leadership Development

Pre-Service Trip


Leadership Development

Ted Talk

For my LDR 200L class, we were required to watch a twenty-minute video from the well-known show, Ted Talk. At first, I was skeptical. I did not want to watch another video pertaining to something “inspirational”. I was not looking forward to having to sit down and watch a guy talk about some confusing theory or concept. Little did I know that this video was going to change my outlook on so many different things. I now have a better understanding of why it is better to ask yourself “why?” instead of “what?”

This Ted Talk was one for the books. Simon Sinek used only his voice and a sheet of paper to explain how to be a successful person or company. He started with different examples to provide an understanding of how his theory worked. He believed that instead of selling “what” you should sell “why”. Selling what is only telling the customer WHAT you are selling. Telling them WHY allows them to be a part of not just your product, however, also the ideas and minds behind it. He used the example of Apple. A person is more likely to buy a MacBook than a Dell computer because Apple has been successful in selling their “why”. He used the quote, “you wouldn’t buy an MP3 Player from Dell would you?” this question is aimed towards sparking a realization that Apple is just like Dell, they are both companies that sell computers. The difference between these companies is “how” they do it. Apple tells people “why” they should buy their product, not “what” they are selling.

This Ted Talk sparked a lot in my head as a leader. Instead of requesting followers by telling them what I am trying to accomplish, I should tell them why I am trying to accomplish it. For example, Martin Luther King Jr. did not say, “I have a plan” he said, “I have a DREAM”. He exemplifies the “why”. He tells people what they believe too. He provides a background and credibility to say that he one day wants to see a better world. Martin Luther King Jr. had millions of followers, and I am certain there were other people trying to lead a movement too. So WHY was Doctor King successful in his attempt? He told people WHY he wanted to change things, not WHAT he was going to do.

In class, we created our “WHY” statements. I pondered so many ideas and finally came up with the perfect WHY for me. My why statement is: To inspire others to see themselves as the change in the world. I want people to know that they CAN be something more than a follower. I want my peers, family and the strangers in my class to recognize themselves as someone who is important to our world. This Ted Talk sparked a movement. A movement to allow people to believe they ARE enough.

Now after watching this Ted Talk I have been more aware of WHY I am doing anything. Everything I do now I think about the why. It is amazing how just being aware of the concept has allowed me to think bigger. I have tried to infuse this idea into my Rotaract club by talking about why we were helping people and volunteering, this helps all of us focus on the bigger picture instead of complaining because we are too busy.

Leadership Development

Leadership, Yes or NO?

Leadership has very different interpretations. It is a concept that only each individual has to decide for themselves how it will be interpreted. For me, leadership is credibility, understanding, confidence and delegation.

  • Credibility: in order to have followers you must earn the trust of those followers. TO be a leader, people around you have to want to follow you, if they cannot trust you, nothing will get done. As a leader, I want people to see me as one that makes good decisions, has made good decisions in the past and will make good decisions in the future.
  • Understanding: As a leader, you must understand different concepts, you must understand your followers and you must understand how to lead. For me, understanding and being relatable are the two best ways to have the credibility to be a leader.
  • Confidence: People want a leader who knows what they are doing, or at least act like they know what they are doing. Confidence is key in gaining follers. If you are not proud of what you believe in and do not take full faith in what you are doing then people will not see that you are confident and will not want to follow you.
  • Delegation: now here is where we answer if leadership is yes or no. Delegating tasks and duties has to be one of the most important things as a leader. Sometimes as a leader you must say NO. To truly be a leader you must lead people to things that you believe are right. For example, if Steve Jobs did not delegate he would never have had the fortune and product that he did. He delegated who made the phones, who marketed the phones and who sold the phones. It was not a one man job. To get a task done you need to recognize that you can say no to a task and you can delegate it to someone else.

Leadership is sometimes saying no. For your mental health and for your sanity, you must say no from time to time. Everyone is human, yes they may have a gift in leading, however that does not mean they must do everything. No is a strong word and allowing for yourself to see that it is okay to say no is something every leader must do to be successful in that they believe in.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader” -John Quincy Adams

Leadership Development · Leadership Education

Tulsi Gabbard

For my current Leader Reflection, I had many leaders I could have chosen from. Many people say our country has no leaders that have affected our country in a positive way in a long time yet, I disagree in many ways. Tulsi Gabbard is a thirty-five-year-old woman who has shown signs of leadership her entire life. She served in the combat zone in Iraq until 2006 and then volunteered to go again in 2009. Tulsi Gabbard also was the youngest women to be elected to a state legislature in 2002-2004 at the age of twenty-one, she served in the Hawaiian House of Representatives. Then in 2013, she was elected into the United States House of Representatives where she currently resides.

Tulsi Gabbard is a leader in a multitude of different ways. She served overseas, in the combat zone in Iraq. To me, this shows bravery and leadership. She has created credibility to lead by actually going into the field and working one on one with people she would eventually lead. To me, the most important part of being a leader is your ethos or credibility. If you are not credible, no one will want to follow you. I also believe she is a leader because she did not let being women get in the way of following her dreams. She was involved in the government as young as twenty-one. She made huge decisions and giant leaps for civilians at such a young age. She never let anything hold her back, and to me, that is a remarkable thing to do as a young lady today.

Recently, Tulsi Gabbard traveled to Syria to meet with the civilians and see what their everyday life was living under a dictatorship and having terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and Isis invading their country. During her trip, she discovered that what we have previously done to “help their country” is only hurting the people and it’s government. During her secret seven-day trip, she had the opportunity to meet with Syria’s president Asaad in which she discussed ways to help eliminate terrorist groups and the wars being fought there. She discussed with the president ways they can improve the country so that people who live there can return home. 1050130985

To me, that shows an immense amount of leadership. She not only went to go and see what life was like there for herself, however, she also was brave and met with the President. She has affected so many people and she is still so very young. It is sad to me that her story will not be recognized on a national level, and she will not have the chance to be recognized like she should be. Our nation needs more leaders like Tulsi to be recognized so that our nation can have more hope for its people.

 

 

Leadership Development

My Current Leadership Reflection

Over and over again it is said that everyone is a leader. Everyone has a leadership quality inside of them, it’s up to you to find out how to use your leadership qualities for the better.

If you would’ve asked me a year ago, “What is your leadership style” I would’ve looked at you like you were crazy. However, today I have a better grasp on who I am as a person and even better as a leader. A year ago today I was just a simple high school student in leadership positions such as the softball and volleyball captain, student council and class council president, vice president of National Honors Society and yearbook editor. Today, I am in much less, yet, I know how to lead people differently.

In February of 2016, I attended a woman in leadership conference where I took the quiz to see which leader I was. I was a direct leader, which means I like to be vocal and in charge of things. In the fall semester of my freshman year I attended Spark Leadership, a leadership seminar ran by the Leadership Institute, and I found out that I was a spiritual leader which meant I like to influence others by my energy and voice. I have changed so much in such a short amount of time. I grew into a different leader because I wanted to be different from the girl in high school. I didn’t want to be the person that oversees everything. I want to be the girl that is in charge of a couple of things, however, puts forth 100 percent effort in those few clubs or volunteer opportunities.

I do not want to say wasn’t passionate about what I did in high school, however, I just feel so much different when I am involved here at college in things that actually matter to me. Yes, I loved everything I did and high school and I appreciate everyone who got me to the place that I was, yet, I just get such a better feeling when leading the things, I do today.

This first semester at college as opened my eyes to so many things. I have become passionate about things I never would have imagined myself even thinking about. I want to be a voice for every person that has felt anxious or depressed, I want to help families overcome their problems with their children, spouses, and family, I want to raise money for polio and other diseases rotary have pushed to eliminate. I want to make a difference. I have realized that my voice matters. I matter and people around me matter. My leadership skills have formed from experience, failures, and successes. I cannot wait to see where my leadership abilities are in four years when I have much more experience, failures and of course success.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” Philippians 2:3