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!!!

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

-Dan Gaken

Leadership Training

Spark Leadership

I walimg_0412k 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 moimg_0914re 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.

Community

Mentee Be Together <3

Mentors are all around us. A teacher, a coach, an older friend are all people that at some point in our lives we used as a resource to better ourselves. Whether that be through a mentoring program, at school or in a sport the mentor is always there for you to lean on. The Leadership Advancement Scholarship provided me not only with the millions of opportunities to make me successful they also provided me with an amazing mentor. For the program, I am in img_0300the sophomores mentor the incoming freshman and help them adjust to the college life. Then a couple weeks into the school year the mentors and mentees all go to a retreat at Eagle Village.

My mentor is Ijeoma Agomo. She is the most extraordinary, kind-hearted, loving person I have ever met. I remember meeting her on competition day. She was the person that was there for me and helped me get img_0302through the stressful day. She talked with me and laughed with me. She made me realize I belonged in this program, she made me work even harder so that I guaranteed a spot in LAS.

Of course a few long grueling months later everyone else started receiving their mentors yet, mine had still not contacted me. I got more and more anxious by the day. Then finally she tagged me in a photo on Facebook telling me I was her Mentee. I could not have been happier.

After a few weeks of college, Ijeoma and I went on the Mentor/Mentee retreat. There we laughed, loved and bonded with one another. At the camp, we did many team bonding exercises. It was really cool to watch my mentor step up to the challenge and pretty much lead my entire group.img_0301 She was very inspirational to me that weekend. On the last day of the trip, we went on a high ropes course. Ijeoma made me attempt things I would never have attempted without her. She made me brave, and she made me confident that I could do anything.

Now that I have seen how a mentor should act, I am going to use my knowledge to mentor my mentee like Ijeoma mentored me. I cannot wait to be a role model to someone, I cannot wait to be a mentor.

Ijeoma is not only my mentor, she is my mom away from home, my sister and now one of my dearest friends. I am so blessed to have had this opportunity to be paired up with such an amazing person. We were MENTEE BE TOGETHER ❤

Leadership Development

Venturing Into the Jungle of CMU

Moving In, Day One…

As I pulled out of my childhood driveway, I wiped away the single tear rolling down my cheek. I was off to college. Man, it seems like just yesterday I was running around in my footie pajamas watching movies where kids went off to college and dreaming of the day when it would be my turn. I always pictured myself packing up my things and moving on to the next chapter of my life, however, when the day finally came it did not seem real. It couldn’t be real. I was about to move in with three complete strangers and start taking classes not even close to the high school level. This was it, I was growing up.

One thing did ease my mind though as I drove down the single highway to get to my dream school… Leadership Safari.

Walking into my now home I felt one thing, love. My roommates accepted me with loving arms and I knew we were going to have a great year. My roomies have been my backbone the last couple of weeks as I have settled in. They have made the beginning of my freshman year on I will never forget.
img_0209The first night of safari we  attended a resident hall “welcome” party where we were introduced to our Resident Assistants and our Resident Director. Next, we attended an imaginist which is . Leadership Safari is an amazing opportunity because without it I would have never seen the speakers, comedians and all around talented people that performed for us! After the imagist, we were assigned our groups. I was, of course, team frog! We met at ten o’clock at night, I was exhausted and ready for bed yet, I was so excited for the next few days ahead of me.

Day 2…

This day was probably my favorite day of Leadership Safari because I got to learn campus and meet so many people! First, we started the day off with our “excursions”. I chose to do the Ultimate Campus Challenge, which was pretty much just an easy version of a scavenger hunt. Our guide read us clues and the took us to the different buildings all over campus. It honestly really helped me get accustomed to where things were, it really did help me not feel stressed about finding my classes. Later in the day a speaker named David Coleman  gathered all 2,000 of us into Finch and did various activities with us. I learned so much in such a short time of him speaking!

img_0213Day 3…

This day was a very interesting day. Team frog ventured into the Student Activities Center to participate in numerous team bonding activities. There were mimg_0215any obstacles that we as a team had to work through. I learned how to be a leader and how not to give up. My group didn’t always work the best together, however, we learned how to overcome our differences and work together in the end.

After a long day of competing and bonding, we met back at the Large Sports Forum at the SAC to watch a poetry slam. This wasn’t just any old, boring poetry slam. This was an amazing opportunity to watch two crazy talented professionals perform their poems. The Asia Project and Ebony both put on an outstanding performance, there were laughs and tears but most importantly there were goose bumps. Everyone in the crowd could feel the emotion in the room, it was very humbling.

Day Four…

Day four was a very interesting day. After watching another speaker after breakfast it was time for lunch. This lunch was different, though, this lunch will be one I will always remember. Getting in line for lunch I noticed a trend, everyone was grabbing the lunch bag that corresponded with the color on our name tag. I had a pink name tag so naturally, I grabbed the pink lunch bag and went to sit down. As I walked back to the group I noticed how light y lunch bag actually was. When I looked inside all that was in it was a package of cheese crackers, BLAH I HATED cheese crackers. I assumed it was a mistake, however, I compared my lunch with a girl in my group that had the same color and all she had was cheese crackers too. Once my group and I got back together we all realized that our portion size was very different. Some people had enough food to feed three people some had a normal size lunch and then the ones like me only had crackers. The point of this project was to raise awareness that kids, even in the Mount Pleasant area, were going to bed every night having only eaten a light dinner or nothing at all. Some kids in my group spread their wealth, while others kept it to themselves. This activity really made me realize how selfish people really can be and I inspired me to want to get involved with this issue.

After the lunchimg_0211 experience, my group and I went and made snack bags for kids in Mount Pleasant that needed food. It really was an amazing and inspiring experience. Once done with that activity my group and I met back up to have “dinner with a professor”. This was
an opportunity for us students to meet and talk with a professor. Doctor Lucas was our professor. She was so sweet and so kind it made me even more excited for classes to start!

Final Day…

The thing that stuck out to me the most on this day was the final dinner they served us. It must have taken so much effort and time to set up the amazing, fancy dinner they provided us that night! There were white table clothes and the food was served family style. It was the perfect way to end the week with my group! After the dinner, we had another speaker and then we met up one more time to reflect on our week. I was so blessed to have had such an amazing Safari Guide! She had so mimg_0217uch to offer me and I will always consider her a mentor in my life. After the last group reflection, we went to a celebration party, there was a DJ, inflatable activities, henna tattoos, rock-wall climbing, lazer tag and a bunch of other things to do. It was so cool!

Leadership Safari is something I will always remember. Central Michigan University cares so much about their students. This orientation program taught me so many things. I learned campus, I met new people and I made connections I will have forever!

NOW I am going to give back to campus like they gave to me during my time at Safari. I am going to take the experiences I encountered into my daily life here at Central. I am going to be involved, I am going to make connections and I am going to LEARN. Leadership Safari gave me an outline of how college is supposed to be, now it is my time to take it and run with it.

FIRE UP CHIPS!

2016 Leadership Safari Video