You’ve got a friend in me: Mentoring a LAS Freshman

14212028_1414352508578173_1436817524207432811_nOne of the most unique parts of the Leader Advancement Scholarship is coming into your freshman year of college having someone you know you can reach out to for a helping hand, questions, and support. Each LAS freshman is given a mentor, a sophomore LAS student, to help guide them through their freshman year of college.

At the end of my freshman year, I was so lucky to have received Madison Mariles as my LAS mentee. I met Madison through MASC/MAHS Leadership camp the summer going into my freshman year. I never really knew her personally, but I was always inspired by her natural leadership capabilities and her outgoing, bubbly personality. I hoped that she would apply for LAS because I thought the program would be a great fit for her, especially as someone who lived and breathed leadership as a lifestyle.

I was so happy to not only find out that she received the scholarship last January, but later on in April, I had the opportunity to be her LAS mentor.

14316833_1458384477511263_5181495623173524781_nEven though I am supposed to be her mentor and help guide her through her freshman year, I am grateful that she has been just as much of a mentor to me. She has inspired me to challenge myself to strive to be more and do more in my community, as well as form intentional relationships with those around me. I am a better person and leader because of her.

It has been a blessing watching her grow and blossom in her first year of college here at CMU and I’m so proud of her for following her passions. I couldn’t ask for a better mentee and I am so excited to see where her time at CMU takes her.

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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.

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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.

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.

 

 

Dreams Do Come True: Observation Hours @ HHS

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Mrs. Wheeler and I after my day of observation was complete

Spending an entire day in the classroom with one of my biggest inspirations guiding and encouraging me was an absolute blessing. My day of observations at Holly High School inspired me and allowed me to bring my passion for education into a high school classroom. Spending an entire school day working one-on-one with students and assisting them confirmed my love for teaching and my lifelong dream to become a teacher.

During my day at HHS, I observed four 9th grade classes of Digital Assist, a required class for freshman students that helps them transition from middle school to high school and acclimate them to the different aspects of technology utilized in the classroom. Having graduated from HHS, I previously thought that my school was not very diverse. However, after all of the diversity discussions we’ve had in EDU 107, I was more aware of diversity present within the classroom now than I was as a student. While the students were not very culturally diverse, they were diverse in other ways such as having different learning styles, varied socioeconomic status, and different behaviors. I felt that Mrs. Wheeler did a wonderful job in reaching oHolly_High_School_logout to all of her students and making sure all of their needs were met.

Additionally, Mrs. Wheeler utilized various types of instruction to ensure she reached all students’ needs. She started the class with a discussion based warm up question that was both relevant to their current assignment and related back to the real world. Essentially, she made her students ask, “why does this matter?”, which I feel is a very important aspect of education that I will incorporate into my future classroom. Additionally, she gave independent work time for students to use Macbook laptops to continue working on a digital project. During this time, I was grateful to be able to walk around the classroom and work with students one-on-one and assist them with any questions they had or help they needed. Making classroom content relevant to the real world is very important and I know that I’m going to incorporate that philosophy in my own classroom.

When I was one of Mrs. Wheeler’s students, I always felt at home in her classroom and when I returned to observe her, I immediately felt the same way. What made her room unnamed-8 so warm and welcoming was the way she decorated it. The two bulletin boards in the room were decorated with inspirational quotes, infographics, and also helpful information such as emergency procedures. There were inspirational quotes on the whiteboard, canvases on the walls, and even uplifting messages on the cupboard doors and behind her desk. The classroom was also set in small groups to encourage discussion and collaboration with the students. I’ve always dreamed of making my classroom feel like a second home and I definitely will utilize inspirational quotes, uplifting messages, and arrange the room so it feels like a comfortable atmosphere for students.

My day at Holly High School reinstilled my purpose and my passion for teaching. By watching one of my favorite high school teachers who made class so engaging, interesting, and meaningful; I gained an understanding of how how I can translate those qualities into my own classroom. What I loved the most was working one on one with students and knowing that I was able to help them or just be someone to talk to. I know in my heart I’m meant to be a teacher and my observation at Holly High School has only fanned the flames of my lifelong dream of becoming an educator.