Leadership Education

LDR 200L

For my Leadership Advancement Scholarship, we are required to complete courses that follow along with our protocol. One of the courses is LDR 200L, which is all about leadership theories.

One of my favorite things we learned during this course was how to facilitate. Facilitating means leading an activity or project and then reflecting on how the activity related to everyday life lessons. This class not only taught us how to facilitate, it also gave us resources on activities to facilitate.

This course required us to put together an initiative and put it on for the class. We also were in charge of an entire workshop that taught our peers’ different leadership theories.

This course is different than other college classes. It is very hands on, instead of just learning what something was we learned how to do it and then actually got to do it. I appreciated the way we were taught, and how much support we received from the TA’s. I am so lucky to have been able to take this course with my cohort. It allowed for open conversations, easy learning environment and of course a fun class period.

I learned more in this class than any other course I have taken so far. I learned how to teach, how to learn and more importantly how to lead.

Now that I have taken this course I will most definitely pursue a leadership minor. This class inspired me to follow my passion of leadership. I will take the skills that I learned from this course and use them in my RSO’s on campus and a variety of different ways back at home.

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

 

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 Education

Servant Leadership in LAS Protocol

The definition of servant leadership according to Robert K. Greenleaf,  is a philosophy and set of practices that enrich the lives of individuals, builds better organizations and ultimately creates a more just and caring world. “The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first.” -Robert K. Greenleaf.

Servant leadership appears in our LAS protocol in a variety of different ways.

17904363_1549749585067592_4082459832143546204_nThe first way it appears is the protocol of having to receive thirty or more service hours per year. This is servant leadership because it is volunteering to help someone or an organization in a positive way.  You can serve your community, organization, friends and companies.

For my thirty hours of community service, I performed a variety of different tasks.16602029_1472658919443326_2582136798976815645_o I volunteered at Relay for Life, volunteered in Flint, I made blankets for a women’s shelter, I helped organized donated books for the Philippines, I made valentines day cards for a nursing home, I made lunches for homeless children and I volunteered at Potter’s House. Servant Leadership is supposed to enrich the lives of others around you. I have continuously pushed myself to help others on and off campus. This LAS protocol helped me push myself even further. Servant Leadership, in my opinion, is about dedicating time to help others in a positive way. I observed my cohort around me volunteering in so many different ways, we made in impact on so many people. The protocol of having to get 30 hours of community service hours encourage everyone in LAS to perform servant leadership.

img_2089Anther one of my favorite protocols for LAS is the service trip to Detroit. We are required to travel to Detroit with the Leadership institute to perform a multitude of different tasks to help the city. On the last day, we traveled to CASS Social Services to volunteer. We were all separated into different groups, some were in the kitchen making food for the homeless, some helped make mats out of recycled tires etc. It was the perfect application of servant leadership because we all contributed to a cause that would affect the city of Detroit in a positive way.

The Servant Leadership theory portrays itself in so many different ways. Anyone can be a servant leader.  It takes time, dedication and passion for what you are doing. There are a multitude of different real life applications that are considered servant leadership. The Leadership Advancement Scholarship does a fantastic job encouraging their students to dedicate their time to a good cause. Receiving 30 hours of community service and the Detroit Trip are just a few ways that the LAS cohort show servant leadership. There are so many other ways that we as students use servant leadership in our everyday life without being directed by our protocol. Servant Leadership, in my opinion, is the most important leadership theory known today. Serving others without pay or reward shows an immense amount of character. I am so lucky to be a part of a scholarship that expects us to apply servant leadership to our everyday lives.

Community

Mentor Reflection

200c7786f2457944ee83b90562ba03daAs a new freshman, life on campus can be hectic. I remember the feeling of not knowing anyone as I walked around campus. I remember not knowing where I was on campus. It is a terrible thing. The one thing that allowed for me to transition into college as well as I did was my mentor.

As an incoming freshman in the Leadership Advancement Scholarship, you are paired up with a sophomore mentor. I was blessed to have an amazing mentor my freshman year. I learned so much from her, and I cannot wait to be able to mentor someone next year and give them the same knowledge that I received.

To prepare us to be a mentor, our LDR 200 class participated in a Mentor Workshop. I had ideas of what I needed to do, however, after the workshop, I had a better idea of what being a mentor entailed. I am prepared to listen to my mentee, and I am prepared to dedicate time to them all year.

I am looking forward to having a mentee so that I can teach them things going into college that I wish I would’ve known. It is such a scary process, and going into it alone can make it worse. I am looking forward to teaching them, however, also learning from them. Being a mentor is such an amazing way to learn about yourself. I will be such a great example for my mentee, and I will push myself even further to be the best student and role model I can be.

I am preparing myself to be a mentor in a variety of different ways. Not only am I taking pictures of my current dorm room now to share with my mentee but I am already thinking about important facts and tips that I can share with them. I am also preparing myself by talking about how I am going to treat my mentee with others. I want the people around me to hold me accountable. I want to be the best mentor and role model possible.

Now that I have gone through the mentor workshop I have discovered things that I need to work on. Before next year I want to stay in touch with my mentee and provide support throughout the summer. I also will introduce him/her to other mentors that can provide them help as well. I cannot wait to give someone the gift that I received last year. The gift of friendship, love, and guidance.

Community · Leadership Development

LEAD Team Reflection

For the Leadership Advancement Scholarship, we are required to participate in a LEAD team. This means your group up with other LAS grades and perform some kind of service project or activity. This was something I was most excited about coming into my freshman year. I was ready to work on a project with people who care about it, just as much as I do.

IMG_5977My LEAD team this year was Relay for Life. We were challenged to create a table at the annual Relay for Life event hosted at CMU each year. We had to raise as much money as we could to be able to contribute to Cancer research. I was very nervous about this team because I had never participated in Relay for Life before. I had been to a few walks, however, I did not understand how it all worked. It was really amazing to work with my fellow team members to raise money for such an amazing cause.

My roommate lost her grandma to cancer. I have seen how it has impacted her in so many ways. She was also a part of the Relay for Life team, for me I felt like I had a purpose. It was such a rewarding feeling, working with my best friend in a cause that she cared about so deeply.

I raised over one-hundred dollars for the cause and worked the event. Working the event was one of the most rewarding parts of this team. It was such a fun day. Everyone’s leadership abilities shined throughout the day. I was able to stop walkers to take a picture with our sign and get them to buy a t-shirt for a donation. I was fun to be abe to talk to different people and learn about their survivor stories. During the day we also had a “Pie the LI” event where the walkers could come and pie us for only two dollars. I was pied a couple of times. It was definitely worth it in the end.

IMG_5972I learned so much from this experience. I learned how to raise money, how to work with a team, what Relay for Life is, and I also learned a new passion of mine. I want to continue to work with this organization and raise money for this cause.

Now that I have experienced a LEAD team first hand I cannot wait to do it again. I will encourage my mentee to be excited about the LEAD teams, and I will hopefully be able to be a part of the Relay for Life team again in the future.

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.