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.
At Central Michigan University I had the opportunity to be the student representative for the Excellence in Teaching Award Committee. My role was to attend the meetings and give my input as a student, create a student nomination process for students to nominate the teacher they believe should win the excellence in teaching award and I took part in the selection process.
This opportunity was amazing. I got to work with professors who were passionate about their jobs. The professors and teachers on this committee mentored me and showed me how to run a meeting, how to communicate to one another and how to run a selection process.
Being on this committee has prepared me for my future as a teacher. The professors and teachers on the committee were such amazing role models. I will use the skills that I have learned in my classroom, to communicate with parents and to communicate with my faculty. I am so glad I took this opportunity to be a part of the Excellence in Teaching Award committee.
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!
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.
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. I was ready to work on a project with people who care about it, just as much as I do.
Last year I was on the Relay for Life LEAD team, that was such an incredible experience. For my sophomore year LEAD team I was placed on the Grad Ball team. Grad ball is a banquet LAS hosts for their graduating seniors. There is food, speeches, pictures, and dancing. It is such a fun night where all of the cohorts get to dress up and celebrate the seniors who are graduating.
On the Grad Ball lead team I was placed on the setup committee. I also was able to help choose the venue, food, and invitations. Our event would not have been as successful if it was not for our LEAD team co-chairs Nicole Gerhauser and Sara Inbody. They did an AMAZING job planning this event! On the day of the event, everything went as plan. The food was amazing, the atmosphere was fun and everyone had a really nice time.
I am so glad that I had the opportunity to serve on this LEAD team. It was so fun honoring the seniors in such a special way and it was so fun planning an event with my close friends and fellow LAS members.
For my Leadership Advancement Scholarship, I am required to take certain classes that will expand my knowledge of leadership. As a sophomore, I was required to take COM 461L: Leadership Communication. In this class, we learned about different ways to communicate to followers as a leader. We learned how to communicate, how not to communicate and when to communicate. In addition to our amazing professor’s lectures, we also had student-led discussion sessions. I loved this concept because we all had the opportunity to lead a discussion about different ways to communicate as a leader.
This class has expanded my leadership skills immensely. I feel as though I have gone through many leadership building sessions, camps, etc. I was dreading taking another course where I already knew most of what I was taught. I was pleasantly surprised during this course though. I learned SO much new information that has helped me become a better leader. We learned things like how to conduct a meeting, leading in times of crisis, how to be a democratic leader and so much more.
I have already used information from the course in my life. It is really cool to see your education play a role in your RSO’s and employment. Now that I have taken this course I believe that my leadership skills have improved. I can use everything I learned in this course now, in two weeks and the rest of my life. I am so glad that we were required to take this class!