This year for my Leadership Advancement scholarship I had to opportunity to serve on the Detroit Trip Lead Team. The Detroit Trip is a trip that the freshman cohort goes on every year to learn about social responsibility, privilege, gentrification, service and to bond together as a cohort. This Lead team is responsible for leading the freshman in service and to facilitate discussions on the different learning opportunities. It was an amazing opportunity and I feel blessed to have had this opportunity to lead, and to learn even more about social justice.
Throughout this trip we partook in multiple activities such as touring Detroit Quicken Loans, hanging out at the Outdoor Adventure Center and lunch at Great Lakes Crossing, however, I found that the most impactful aspect of the trip was the guided bus tour around Detroit.
During the guided bus tour, our tour guide took us to multiple places in Detroit that made in impact on social change and the housing segregation that took place in the 20th century. It was heartbreaking and inspirational all at the same time. Gentrification in America at this time still has an impact on how our world is today. It is so important for us to learn and understand what happened during this time, and to recognize that there is so much work that still needs to be done to create equality among everyone. The tour guide was so insightful and taught us things that I never even thought about. I had tears in my eyes the entire time. The Leadership Advancement Scholarship has taken so many strides to help their scholars to recognize our purpose in this society, and how us as leaders CAN make a difference. This bus tour was an amazing experience.
We also volunteered at CASS Social Services. Some students worked in the kitchen to serve those who were in need, and some shredded papers and boxes to create an income for CASS to keep doing what they’re are doing for the Detroit community. Volunteer opportunities such as this one are so impactful. It makes you realize how privileged you are, and gives you the motivation to make change.
Now that I have gone on this trip for a second time I have such an appreciation for the city of Detroit, and the people who have made it what it is today. There is so much work to still do when it comes to social justice and equality, and trips like these take us one step closer to a better world. I am so grateful to have had the honor to lead students in such an impactful service trip.
For my Advanced Leadership Scholarship we are required to partake in two RSOs or “clubs” on campus. I am the Secretary for Rotaract for my first RSO, however, for my second RSO I had the opportunity to instead be a part of something different. Through Rotaract I met Pastor Carla. Every year Rotaract donates money to Pastor Carla’s non-profit organization International Heart cry. This organization does a variety of different things around the world to help those in need. When I met Pastor Carla through Rotaract I was inspired. She is a powerful leader that serves her community in so many different ways. She councils people in need, sets up programs for families, writes books to spread her wisdom, runs a mentorship program and many other things. I knew when I met her that I NEEDED to be a part of what she does.
I help Pastor Carla with many different things. I help run the family fun nights at the Discovery Museum. This is a free night to any family in the community, we encourage families to play together and bond during their time at the museum. We give away prizes, have crafts and even provide snacks. Another thing I help Pastor Carla with is church events. This year I am helping organize the annual princess ball held in May. This is an event for mother’s, daughters and grandmothers to dress up and spend time together. It is such an amazing experience to be a part of. Through Pastor Carla I have met the little girl I mentor. She oversees our relationships and helps if any problems were to arise.
Pastor Carla has mentored me in so many ways. She has inspired me to be a powerful woman who works hard for those around her. I will use the knowledge gained from working with her to help people around me as well as inspire others to do the same. The wood needs people like Pastor Carla, and I hope to be just like her someday.
My Leadership Advancement Scholarship has provided me with many opportunities over the last three years of my college experience. One of the best opportunities I have received is the push to be involved on campus. LAS has motivated me to be involved, make change and make my mark on CMU.
One of the RSOs I am involved with on campus is Rotaract. Rotaract is the college version of Rotary, an international service club that performs international and local service to those in need. We have done so many different service projects over my time at CMU, this year in particular was one of the best. My club and I organized a pasta dinner and raised over 2,000 dollars for Christmas Outreach, we have made valentine’s day cards for the elderly, we have painted toy cars for those children in our community that don’t have a lot of toys.
Rotaract has taught me many things. Not only has it provided me with new friends and connections, it also provided me with leadership, organization, and event planning skills. This RSO has brought me out of my comfort box and created a person who can accomplish any task that I set my mind to.
Rotaract has set me up for my future as a teacher. I can use the skills I have learned in my classroom in many different ways. It has given me a look into the poverty that our own country still suffers from. This will give me empathy towards my students who are less fortunate, it has given me the skills to give support and love to those kids in my classroom. Rotaract has given me event planning skills, I can use this in my classroom to organize my classroom, help with events at my future school and give me the skills to stay organized throughout my career.
Rotaract has most importantly given me the skills to be a leader. Last year I was elected volunteer chair of Rotaract. This year I had to opportunity to become the secretary. As the secretary of Rotaract I have many roles. My most important role is taking notes during meetings and sending emails to the club members. Outside of that task though I have had the opportunity to help lead different events. As an eboard as a whole we plan meetings, events and volunteer opportunities. As an eboard member I have been able to lead certain aspects of the meeting, and lead different events that took place.
My leadership role has prepared me for my life as a teacher and my life in general. I have the confidence and knowledge to lead a group of people to success.
I am so grateful for the opportunities Rotaract has provided me over the past three years!
For my Leadership Advancement Scholarship, I am required to partake in 30 hours of community service each year. Every year I have made lots of connections, had lots of laughs and created lots of memories participating in community service.
For this year’s community service I did a variety of different things. Since freshman year of college, I have mentored a little girl once a week for one or two hours. We have an amazing connection. We hang out at the park, have coffee dates, play ping pong, swim, go to the Discovery Museum and play video games. She needs a person who is there for her no matter what, I love being that person for her. There have been great improvements in her behavior since I started mentoring her, it has been very rewarding.
Another community service I partook in this year was raising money for Christmas Outreach. My Rotaract Club raised over 2,000 dollars for Isabella County’s Christmas Outreach program by serving a pasta dinner, we called it Pastabilities. Christmas Outreach is a non-profit organization that hosts an annual distribution event to those in need in Isabella County. According to the 2017 Census, 23.4% of people are in poverty in Isabella County, equivalent to over 16,000 people. This fundraiser helped Christmas Outreach distribute gifts to more people in need. Some of the things that were purchased with these funds were Christmas decorations, winter coats/boots/hats/mittens, children books, and much more!
Giving back to this community has always been a priority to me. Mount Pleasant Michigan is such an amazing community. I love having the ability to make a change during my short time here at CMU. The lessons I have learned by the community service performed because of my advanced leadership scholarship are plentiful. I cannot wait to use my experience learned during my college career to make an impact on other places in the world.
There are no words to explain how lucky I am to have Sylvia as my mentee. She is bright, kind, spunky, outgoing, curious, friendly, easy-going and so much more. I had such an amazing year watching her make new friends, experience college, decide on a major and succeed in the classroom. Sylvia amazes me every time we hang out, she is an overall genuine person who cares about everyone around her.
Sylvia and I did not have to hang out every day to build the bond we have. I feel as though she will also be there for me, and I know I will always be there for her. Her spunky personality inspires me to let loose and have fun. She made me a better person.
Sylvia was the perfect person to experience retreat with. We both are so much alike, we like our naps and we are adventurous. She amazed me with her ability to socialize so easily, and she made me open up immensely during the two days in the woods. I learned so much about her over this year, I cannot imagine my life at CMU without her.
I was so proud of Sylvia for being so independent. At the beginning of the year, I checked up on her frequently. She was always doing some sort of fun adventure or hanging out with friends. She flourished so much her first year at CMU it was so exciting to watch. My freshman year at CMU was rough, so it was a great feeling to see Sylvia do so well adapting to being away from home, and taking college courses. It was such a rewarding experience to have someone under my wing, even though she did not need me a lot I felt as though I was someone she could look up to.
Sylvia is going to be a fantastic mentor. Seeing her talk about her mentee and her reveal is so cool, she lights up. I cannot wait to see where the next few years takes our friendship, and I cannot wait to watch Sylvia continue her college courses. I know she has a very bright future ahead of her, and I know she is going to impact so many lives in a positive way.
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.
Rotaract is a community service based RSO. Rotaract is the college level version or Rotary, or the high school version Interact. I joined this club because I LOVE to volunteer. This organization is so much more than just CMU or Mount Pleasant. We are a club who perform international and local service projects.
This year our international project was raising money to give to International Heart Cry for a mission trip that they will be going on in a few weeks. The money will be going towards resources to help a small village in rural Canada with different issues that they are having. This year we had multiple local projects. We cleaned up local parks, assembled Christmas gift baskets for children at the hospital, hosted the Rotary conference, volunteered at the Rotary Beef Dinner, made crafts for the elderly, made/donated tie-blankets, helped with demolition at the Women’s Aid Shelter, held our first annual Dodge-ball Tournament, hosted a community event with Dr. Pol, and raised money for the Women’s Aid Shelter. Each one was so much fun to participate in.
This year I had the privilege to hold a position on the eboard. My title was the volunteer chair, and I had the opportunity to serve with some really great people. I learned how to plan events, ask for donations and run meetings. All of eboard put so much energy into each one of our service projects. We had such an amazing time doing it, and we all grew very close.
I cannot wait to see where the next two years takes this RSO. There are so service projects that our club can get involved in. Now that I have been a part of this club I have grown an even stronger passion for volunteering.