Leadership Development · Personal Life

Freshman Year Review

I hear many students around campus talking about “how fast this school year went”. fullsizeoutput_e66I nod my head and think about how in just a short week I will be done with my first ever year of college. It went by so incredibly fast, it feels like yesterday I moved in.

Then I sit and reflect on everything that happened in such a short year and realize how much I actually went through to get where I am today. I switched my major three times, finished 35 credits, joined two organizations, accepted an eBoard position, interned at a church, switched rooms, took multiple exams, met my two best friends and found my passion all in two semesters.

IMG_1107 I battled depression and anxiety all while learning ways to cope with life away from home. I discovered what works for me when I am upset, and I have learned how not to get upset. I found myself. I learned that I was a different person than I was just a short nine months ago. I am stronger, more passionate and overall a more open minded person.

College changed me. Some ways good, some ways bad. I am a better listener, I care about people and their beliefs. I know what I want in my future and I have found friends that will stick by me. I have learned to take naps anywhere, and I have gained the confidence to go to class before even getting ready. I have also learned that the stress of college WILL make you gain weight no matter how much you work out and eat healthily. College will make you fatter no matter how much you try for it not to. IMG_0633

Something that I realized pretty early on, is how much I value my friendships at home. The people that I surrounded myself with at home, are people that I still love and cherish just as much as my new friends. I appreciate them so much. They listened to me cry, came and visited me and reminded me that home isn’t so far away when you stay in touch with the people that matter. IMG_2239My friends from home are my rocks. They have supported me in everything I have done and I cannot thank them enough.

All in all, this year in total sparked many emotions. I now appreciate my parents and family so much more. I live every day in the moment and I have met the two most amazing women that I know will be forever friends. I value life and family and friendships.

IMG_1871I also learned that college sucks. It is a phrase that every college student has mumbled at least once under their breath. College sucks, but it is also the most amazing thing at the same time. It is different, it is challenging but it is also rewarding. The late nights studying almost ruined me, the early mornings were not my favorite, the cafeteria food could have been better, some people I met were strange, not all of my professors knew my name and there are no adults around to rescue you. It is the transitional period from adolescence to a real live adult.

BUT I MADE IT. I really did. I received mostly A’s and am still on track to graduate! WOW, who would have thought? Life could not get any better than it is right now. I appreciate everything my parents, friends, and advisors did to get me where I am today. I look back to just 5 months ago where I was considering dropping out and all these people helped make sure that I made it. I owe everything to them.

This year is one I will NEVER forget. I have found who I truly want to be. I cannot wait for the three amazing years and endless opportunities ahead of me. fullsizeoutput_e6a



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

Leadership Development

Leadership Advancement Scholarship

LAS has changed my life for the better. I still remember the phone call saying I received the scholarship like it was yesterday. The people and connections I have made through this scholarship in just 3 months has already affected my life in so many ways.

The Leadership Advancement Scholarship  is a scholarship offered through Central Michigan University. It is made up of 49 students that all live in the same residence hall and are awarded $2,000 annually. The money honestly has nothing to do with how amazing this program is. The staff at the LI have given me a shoulder to cry on, scheduling help and I even babysat on of their baby’s. It isn’t just a scholarship program, it is a family. cropped-cropped-img_0847.jpg

The protocol for LAS the first year is as follows:

  • We must receive 30+ hours of community service annually
  • Involvement in a registered student organization
  • We must be a part of a LAS LEAD team
  • Attendance at 3 leadership lectures each semester
  • One seminar or workshop pertaining to leadership

We also are required to take some classes with our cohort. Those include for the first year:

  • COM 267L – Intro to Debate
  • PSY 100L – Intro to Psychology
  • LDR 100 – Leadership Colloquium
  • HST 110L – The American Experience
  • LDR  101 – Leadership Colloquium

The people in LAS are beyond amazing. They have helped me so much adjust to the college life. I have already made so many life long friends in such a short amount of time. Receiving this scholarship has been the best thing to happen to me since getting into CMU. I cannot wait to see what my future has in store for me. FIRE UP CHIPS!!!


“You are not the leaders of tomorrow, you are the leaders of today!”

-Dan Gaken