Coming in this year, I was ready to make an impact not only on campus, but also within myself as a human. One way I didn’t think I would was through D.I.S. team. D.I.S. stands for Diversity, Inclusion and Service and that is what we accomplished. Of course there were quirks and kinks along the way, but the end goal of a fully revamped team was accomplished. With inclusion being one of my core values in life, I was ready to get started. As a group we thought “How can we make this a thing on campus?” and along the way of thinking, a plan was formed. One way in which we could accomplish our diversity and inclusion aspect of this lead team was to throw a tailgate, but not any ordinary tailgate. Continue reading
“Always render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what your task may be.” ~ Og Mandino
My ohh my is service great! Going down to North Carolina during spring break and doing service with an amazing group of people was nothing like I could ever imagine. First things first, serving your community back home is a rewarding experience enough, but serving an impoverish community in which you don’t live in is even more eye opening. Children’s Health and Wellness Alternative Break was an eye opening experience that I will never forget.
Being a Leader Advancement Scholar has given me the opportunity to follow a protocol that has allowed me to tackle many realms of leadership. One part of my protocol that I would do even if it wasn’t a part of it would be being involved in an RSO, eventually holding leadership positions in 2 of them. The Social Change model applies to this in a sense that when you’re in the organizations, you are focused on the individual, group and community. Let me elaborate here. Within the individual, as in myself, I try to hold still to my values and beliefs before the group so I am competent and confident with in the group. Next is within the group, where I am now focusing on collaboration and interaction between myself and the organization where I am trying to instill the groups values into them for future leadership roles. For example, I try to implement the skills of helpfulness, caring and collaboration among my group so eventually we can all foster these characteristics and implement them in our leadership behaviors daily on the job. With in the society, the group is trying to bring about change for the common good. An idea of this would be how certain organizations shape you into well rounded leaders that are career based, or major based, so you are ready to impact the field and others around you for the long run.
Through the 7 C’s of leadership, social change is able to happen. I’ll explain 2 briefly:
- Common Purpose- This is to work collectively with the group through shared visions and for everyone to participate actively in the purpose and goals of the group. An example of this would take place in SAVV (Student Advocates for Vegetarianism/Veganism) where they all share the common purpose of saving the lives of animals and protecting the environment from to the mass production of meat.
- Citizenship- This is not simply membership, but actively being engaged in the community where your ultimately working towards social change. Although this is implied in every single RSO to go out and volunteer, this is another section of our protocol where 30 hours of service with in our community can impact us as leaders. As we gain more self knowledge in this act, social change can increase as others see the problems they face as connected to the problems of other people and choose to engage in it.
Social Change Model is something we should lead by everyday in trying to make yourself and the community better. Through this model you can find satisfaction and enjoyment from making a difference in the world. As emerging leaders on campus, this protocol is allowing us to apply the many realms of leadership in many unique ways where we can all make a difference.
After we had left the city of Detroit, our cohort had time to reflect on the impact that we made and the impact that happened within our selves during this service trip, but first let me give you the inside scoop of the activities we were able to partake in.
When we arrived in Detroit we showed up to a local charter school in Detroit rather known as Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. This day was dedicated to service where we could allow the Jalen Rose students to interact in the activities we were putting on, as well as potentially recreate these projects later on. I give the kids major credit for coming in to volunteer with 47 college students during the final day of their spring break. Although at their school, service is a requirement these kids voluntarily signed up and willfully wanted to better this community by doing more service. Cards for Veterans was the activity I facilitated, which basically was making cards that stated how grateful we were for the service that vets had put towards our county. I was able to interact with my group and get to know them each individually and the things that they wanted to do later on in life. They have allowed me to open my eyes and become aware of things that some of us might take for granted. One being a bus system. We never had to worry about not having to miss school because we either had a car or a bus to take us there. Well, here they have no bus system and some families might not even have a car so walking is that last resort even if they’re more than a couple miles away. Even for service requirements they have to find transportation to these events. This has allowed me to stop and think about the little things that we are offered everyday that may not be offered to others.
As we left Jalen Rose, we were able to bond over great pizza from Pizzapapolis and then we were off to the DIA (Detroit Institute of the Arts). This was an amazing and beautiful place where you could escape from others around you and dive completely into the culture of art.
I enjoyed the DIA, being a first time goer. Art allows others to express what they feel deep inside themselves and basically communicate indirectly with others. Leadership is a form of art in the sense that each person expresses it differently and paints their own picture of a true leader. Then we went to the DNR Outdoor Adventure Center, where its basically all nature and outdoors activities inside of a building. Cool Right? Bonding with the cohort like no other here where we did heads up, handstand contests, and an animal hunt.
The next day approaches and we head off to Cass Community Social Services. This place has so much history to it, but the main objective of it is to give those with intellectual disabilities job opportunities so they can make a living as well. Day in and day out people think that the state allows people with disabilities to live a comfortable life. Little do they know it’s hardly enough to get by. CASS is trying to change that. The place I went to was the paper shredding services. This is where people bring confidential paper work from doctors offices, lawyers or old checks that they want shredded up. Here they have people who might not be able to read so their information is held confidentially and the workers get paid their dues. Other job opportunities CASS offers are a catering service, shoe making and tire matts. There are probably more services they create for others around the city, but this is the main list. This has taught me to be selfless and make sure I can offer opportunities to others around me. Instead of thinking centrally, I need to start thinking developmentally and how I can better impact the community around me.
In the end this was a weekend of giving back to the community, whether it was indirect or direct service. Being made aware of the issues happening in Detroit and the social stigmas tied along with that, broke boundaries for me. Stereotypes were broken about the wonderful city of Detroit. If everyone was made aware of the issues happening there wouldn’t be any because those who are passionate about making change in this world would dive in and help the under represented areas. We would all say nice things about Detroit! The more we interact with the community, the more likely that we could make an indirect change. Instead of sitting on the couch seeing commercials on Detroit, how about you get off of that couch and start making a difference in the communities we live in.
Being a Leader Advancement Scholar, one requirement that is in our protocol is to be a part of a Lead team. I was so ecstatic to find out that I was a part of the Leadership Institute Relay for Life lead team. Having been on my high schools relay team for all 4 years, I was super excited to see what a college team had to offer. I wasn’t let down! We meet periodically throughout the school year planning for the event and fundraisers to put on through the year. Although some plans didn’t fall through, we still ended up being super successful.
As a team we put on an event called Pie an Li, which was where the relay team, along with Li staff were being pied in order to raise funds for our team. We ended up raising more than last years fundraiser which we found as a huge success. As a team we were the second highest fundraising team raising a total of $1,940 and became a rising star team for raising over $1,000.
Personally I set my goal at $300 to raise for the American Cancer Society and I ended up raising $240 which is still great, but not exactly close to my goal. I completed my previous goals of $100 and $200 which was really rewarding to think about. I also took one for the team and was one of the fantastic people to be pied at Pie and Li! And to top everything off I won free pizza at the event due to my fantastic donators for participating in the $48 in 48hrs. challenge.
At the event we each signed up for shift to volunteer during the event. I decided to come for 10 out of the 12 hours offered. Having had close family members survive and pass away from this disease makes this event close to my heart. It starts out with a survivors lap to applaud those who have won the battle and then later on we take a luminaria lap to remember those who weren’t able to beat the battle. In between these key times of relay, there are of course fun and games and many great acts that came in to perform. Among the few things that happened were the Asia Project, ASL (American Sigh Language) Society performance, Trap Door Improv, Dance Team and many more. My FAVORITE had to be going up on stage with my fellow LASer Teddy Wingiert doing a Lip Sync battle to the iconic melodies of High School Musical! The pictures below were special dance moves including the kids favorites these days, the whip!
The Central Michigan University raised a total of $55,600 during the raising period. Since this was the 100th birthday of the American Cancer Society, we hope this will be the last straw to end the fight and finding the cure for cancer.
As we carry on in our lives we forget to look at the under represented parts of the world, one place being Detroit. We look at Detroit as being this big city with cool malls, and an up and coming economy, but that over shadows the parts that are going down and falling apart right under our noses. The social issues that are prominent there happen to be the line of poverty in many areas and the segregation between communities in the city. I learned about these issues from word or mouth, first hand experience and social media.
And what are we doing to better aid these areas? The Leadership Institute is one group that is trying to make a difference. Instead of preaching the vision and purpose of the LI, we put our words to action and go out into society and experience it first hand. Taking this trip abides to the purpose and visions of the LI because its allows us to open our selves to other aspects of society in which we may not ever experience in our lives. It teaches us to implement diverse communications and to understand and respect someones background and where they came from. This educates us on how to better other communities and to build relations amongst those in the communities as well.
This trip will help me personally grow as an individual because it will open my eyes as to what these areas are really like. I will be shown opportunity to allow others to grow and for me to not only understand their area but to educate others on where I am from. I will break boundaries between stereotypes and influence others to disregard the first impression thoughts that come to mind. I want to engage in one another and get to know each other so we can grow as one. With this trip I feel I will come out a better person, not because I want a label of helping others, but because I truly want to invest myself in understanding where others come from and building relations with others I may never meet in life.
In our LDR100 class we had to create a project that possessed qualities of a Fred. What’s a Fred you say? Well I’ll answer that for you. This is a true story based off of a man named Fred who was a mail carrier. He was so caring and passionate about his job that he would go leaps and bounds for the people he delivers for. He would even watch over the houses just to make sure the mail was ok. He treated everyone with the highest respect and as a friend no matter what. Fred made a job that most people find miserable, a way to make a difference in peoples lives. Being a Fred is more than just being nice to people and making people smile. These are the principles to which a Fred portrays:
1. Everyone Makes a Difference
2. Success Is Built on Relationships
3. You Must Continually Create Value for Others, and it Doesn’t Cost a Penny
4. You Can reinvent yourself regularly
When we thought of a project we tried to incorporate all of these factors into it. What we came up with was #CMUrandomacts with the key words PASS IT ON! Our project was where we handed out cards of random acts to people and asked them to pass it on ultimately creating a chain reaction of random acts. The purpose of out project was to brighten someones day, promote kindness, and create stronger community on campus. Our difference was made by passing out the cards and creating the opportunity to smile. The relationships we built were through the interactions we put forth when presenting our acts which built community around campus. We created value for others through small acts which were easy ways of showing the value of kindness and good deeds. We reinvented our self by not just stepping out of our comfort zone and allowing us to grow as a person, but it also allowed our receiver to grow and become a deliverer. It may seem that our impact is small but its larger than you think and affects people and gives them the reason to possess the qualities of a Fred as well
I plan to be a Fred by lending a helpful hand.
*To see some of our impact, search #cmurandomacts on twitter.*
Great Wolf Lodge was the place to be the weekend of November 7th-8th. They hosted a conference put on by Central Michigan University called Connections.
The whole thing behind connections was to build your leadership skills within yourself for the organizations you went there for, but it was also to build connections with the others around you so campus could be connected a grow together. This conference was a success in my eyes. Once we got there we were separated into institutes named after people who impacted campus and promoted connections on campus as well. My institute was Coles Institute.
Within those groups we created an asset map that connects all of our assets together to show that they all coincide and rely on one another. Whether it was an individual asset, institutional, organizational, whatever it was we wrote it down. We can all feed off of each other and become assets for one another.
Throughout the day we went to educational sessions that branched off onto many different topics on leadership. I loved these because they educated you on things that will actually help you tackle problems that surface either when you’re in a rut, struggling with time, or conversations.
Everyone would say that the water park and the pizza speed dating was probably the best part about connections because it was the time to connect with the people around you. With the help of connections I was able to see that our campus is filled with several people, and probably more, who are filled with the passion to make a difference at CMU. If we could bring all of these people together, we could make Centrals campus a great one.