College 101

10386364_10204131116014504_3416938176415967577_nAnother RSO I’ve had the opportunity to be part of the past two years is College 101. College 101 is a community service based registered student organization that allows CMU students to impact high school students across the state right here on CMU’s campus.

College 101 works with high school students who are at-risk of dropping out. We coordinate with multiple high schools each year and arrange for traditionally at-risk students to come to CMU for an entire Friday. During their visit, we teach these students all about higher education and how it is possible for each and every one of them to obtain. These students often come to us feeling that college is unattainable and over the course of the day we instill hope in them that higher education is always an option, whether that be a University, Community College, or a Technical Training school.

Throughout their day at CMU, we give them a campus tour, discuss opportunities and Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 1.14.05 PMoptions available for them to attend post-secondary school. We also facilitate self-discovery activities with these students that help them learn more about who they are and what they want from their life. Additionally, we put on a “major fair” for these students and let them explore different majors and career opportunities that are available, followed by having them sit in on a real college-style lecture.

Being part of College 101 has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my college career. There is no better feeling than helping instill hope in these students that education doesn’t have to end for them after high school. If they have the desire to be successful and work hard, they have the opportunities to do so.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to be involved in College 101 over the past two years and I look forward to growing with this organization in the years to come.

Advertisements

Lead Team Reflection: LAS in The D

16807561_1577450168937090_2848794480160348484_nAs part of the Leader Advancement Scholarship Protocol, all freshman, sophomore, and junior LAS students are required to serve on a Lead Team. Each Lead Teams serves a different purpose, whether that be to plan diversity events, put on LAS Graduation Ball, plan the scholarship competition day, and many more.

This year I had the opportunity to serve on the LAS in the D Lead Team. As a member of this Lead Team, we were responsible for planning, organizing, and executing the annual service trip to Detroit for the Freshman LAS Cohort. Every detail from raising the funds for the trip, to educating the students on the service they were doing, to planning the schedule for the weekend was taken care of by our Lead Team.

Additionally, as Lead Team members, we had the opportunity to be the facilitators a group of the LAS Freshman throughout the trip. We were with our group throughout the entirety of the trip and also lead nightly discussions and reflections with these students about the experiences they had.

16602633_1609413179076030_956884506532097970_n

The LAS in The D Lead Team at the DIA

This trip was so impactful to me as a LAS Freshman that I was so grateful for the opportunity to help give these students a great experience like I had. My favorite part of serving on this Lead Team was seeing students grow, learn, and experience what servant leadership is in it’s purest form. Watching these students learn more about Detroit, it’s successes and struggles, and what each and every one of them can do to make a difference in the world was heartwarming.

I am very grateful I had the opportunity to serve on the LAS in the D Lead Team this year and I hope I will have the opportunity to serve on it again next year.

Service Learning: MASC/MAHS Summer Leadership Camp

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 10.22.18 PM.pngThis summer I had the opportunity to return to one of my favorite places and volunteer as a junior counselor at MASC/MAHS Summer Leadership Camp.

MASC/MAHS Summer Leadership Camp is a week-long leadership camp for high school students. Students come to camp from all different backgrounds across the state to network with other student leaders, and learn about ways to better themselves, their community, and the world around them.

I spent my second year on staff being a junior counselor for a group of 20 high school students who were experiencing camp for the first year. Throughout the week, my staff partner, Brian, and I led these students through various activities, simulations, and discussions all to help these students further understand the immense need for leadership in our world and how they can make a difference throughout their everyday lives.

This was my 3rd year spent at MASC/MAHS Summer Camp, one as a camper and two on Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 10.22.32 PM.pngstaff. Every year I take away something new from my week-long experience. This year I was reminded of the importance of being intentional in my relationships with others, and the importance of perseverance through difficult times. I was reminded that no matter where you are in life, the relationships you build with others are the greatest blessing.

I am so grateful for my experience as a 2nd year junior counselor this summer and I can’t wait to return back to camp next summer.

A Year in Review

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 2.20.00 PMIt is hard for me to believe that just nine short months ago I arrived on CMU’s campus for the first time as an undergraduate student. I was excited, nervous, and anxious to transition into a full-time college student and to enter the “adult world.”

I cannot even begin to describe the immense impact that my first year of college has had on my life. It has undoubtedly been one of the greatest challenges thus far as it has made me look deeply at myself, my passions, and the role I want to play in making the world a better place.

While I could list the numerous clubs I joined this year or some of my most cherished memories, I’m going to keep this post short and sweet by telling you a few of the most important lessons I learned throughout my first year at Central Michigan University.

Lesson 1: Always ask for help

I learned that asking for help is not something that you should do, but something that is of uttermost importance to your success as a college student. Don’t know where your biology lab is? Ask someone. Struggling with a concept in Calculus? Go to office hours and the Math Center. Not sure what classes to take next semester? Make an appointment with an advisor. There are so many people on this campus who want you to succeed and would do anything to help you; make sure you utilize these resources and always ask for help when needed.

Lesson 2: Just because you may fail, doesn’t mean you are a failure

As a college student and someone who holds myself to high academic standards, I felt my heart drop deep into my stomach when for the first time in my entire life, I didn’t have all A’s. I spent hours a day going over calculus notes, doing calculus homework, and studying my butt off for days on end only to receive a B+ in the class. While in high school, I would’ve been deeply disappointed in myself for receiving a grade less than an A, Calculus I taught me that it isn’t the grade that defines your success as a student, it is your work ethic and dedication to understanding the material that does.

Lesson 3: Always, always follow your passion

Screen Shot 2016-01-30 at 2.27.45 PM.pngI came to CMU with a strong passion for teaching and education. I knew, with my whole heart, that becoming a High School Teacher was my calling and that with my career, I would be able to positively impact the lives of my students. As I enrolled in my first education course, completed all forty-five of my required observation hours, and joined the Student Michigan Education Association, my passion for teaching has only grown since I’ve been here. I am so grateful that my passion has allowed me to not only take education courses that I have genuinely enjoyed but has also connected me to other students on campus who share the same passion.

Lesson 4: There is happiness everywhere

1e49b39f-6255-45f1-a5ff-a99a8ce05957.jpgWhile being a college student can seem inherently overwhelming with never ending assignments, papers, group projects, and presentations, I have found that there is happiness everywhere, you just have to look for it. There is happiness within the close friendships you form. There is happiness when you get an awesome grade on a test you studied for days on end. There is happiness when the sun rises on the walk to your 8 am Calculus lecture. There is happiness when you sip your favorite Starbucks drink while studying in the UC. College is a place full of endless moments of happiness, you just have to embrace them.

There are many more lessons that I have learned throughout my first year of college and I cannot wait to see what new adventures the next three years will bring.

 

 

 

 

Spark Leadership Series

 

spark3

Team Involvement after our first Challenge

For the past 4 weeks, I’m very grateful I had the opportunity to participate in the Spark Leadership Series. The Spark Leadership Series, also known as Spark, is a program put on by CMU’s Leadership Institute to further students’ understanding of their definition of leadership, their leadership style, and how they can further their capacity to lead on campus.

Going into my first session of Spark, I was a little skeptical. I’ve been exposed to a wide variety of leadership activities and simulations and I was really hoping that Spark wouldn’t be just a repetition of the same activities I completed throughout high school.

Thankfully, Spark was so much more than I imagined it would be.spark2

I think that one of the most valuable parts of Spark was being broken apart into groups that we stayed with for four weeks. My group, Team Involvement, went from being a group of strangers (minus a few of us in LAS who already knew each other) to a close-knit family. We overcame obstacles such as leading each other blindfolded through a room of mouse traps, discovered our personal leadership style, and expanded our perception of leadership.

Participating in Spark has furthered my understanding of my leadership style, considerate leadership, helped me develop new friendships within LAS, and has inspired me to continue to strive to BE better everyday.

Start With Why

Why-PicWhy are you alive? What is your purpose on Earth? What do you want to be your legacy?

At some point in our lives, we’ve pondered these questions and questioned our purpose on Earth. Whether someone directly asked us, or we had thought about it when we were unable to fall asleep, the purpose of life is a question many of us have asked.

But in our day to day lives, how often do we think about our purpose? How often do we make decisions that don’t actually align with our purpose?

why simon.pngThis is exactly what Simon Sinek discusses in his TED Talk, How Great Leaders Inspire Action. You see, people are drawn to purpose. People didn’t rally behind Rosa Parks because she merely gave up her seat on a bus; they rallied behind her because they supported her activism for racial equality. People don’t buy Apple Computers because they “look nice” (well, I’m sure some people do), they buy them because Apple markets their purpose is to enhance their consumers’ life and make technology easier to use.

So in the midst of all this talk about purpose, I questioned my own purpose.

Why do I get up in the morning? What am I passionate about? What do I want to change in the world and how am I going to do it?

In LDR 200, we were asked to create a why statement. Everyone’s why statement starts with “Inspire others to..” and then it was up to us to make our why statement our own. It only took me two worksheets and a few inspirational youtube videos to really get my creative juices flowing.

a47f04615a394cdb46fcac25cad1b7a6And then, boom, my why statement hit me like a big yellow school bus.

“Inspire others to live passionately and grow endlessly”

As soon as I wrote those words on paper, my heart glowed. I knew that these very words described my purpose on Earth. I believe wholeheartedly that life should be lived with passion and that everyone can always grow into a better person. If I could inspire someone to do anything, it would be to live a life filled with passion and always strive to be better than the person they were yesterday.

Though I may have figured out my why statement, I am excited to challenge others to find their why and wholeheartedly incorporate it into their everyday life.

 

 

True Leadership

If an ordinary perIMG_6165son was stopped on the street and asked to name someone who is a leader, they would probably respond with a well-known figure such as Barack Obama, Oprah, or Steve Jobs. Contrary to public opinion, most leaders are not necessarily people who hold positions in the government or hold a special title. In fact, the world’s most influential leaders are often people we interact with in our everyday life that challenge us to be better, inspire us to reach out to others, and remind us to live a life filled with gratitude and compassion.

When I was asked in my LDR 200 class to identify someone who is a leader, the first person who came to mind was not Barack Obama, Oprah, or even Steve Jobs. The first person who came to mind was my mom.

My mom is one of the most selfless people I’ve ever met. I’ve come to realize what makes my mom a leader is her unconditional desire to help others and her compassion for everyone she comes in contact with. You see, my mom is a leader by leading through others. Whether it’s her genuine compassion towards her patients at work, creating intentional relationships with everyone she meets, or devoting her time and energy to volunteering in the community, she portrays the type of selflessness that a true leader possesses.

While she may not realize it, my mom has had a tremendous impact on so many lives, including my own. Her everyday actions of selflessness and true kindness inspire others to “pay it forward”. The intentional relationships she creates inspires others to form more intentional relationships of their own. But most importantly, her gratitude and optimistic outlook on life remind many people, including myself, that life is a blessing that should be cherished every day.