There are simply no words to put together this volunteer experience and the life long friendships I have built because of Leadership Camp. This by far is the most connected I have felt to leadership and campers and I think that has to do with the people in this program as well as the model that we are practicing day by day and eventually in life as well.
“A disability doesn’t have to be a social barrier. Good etiquette begins with inclusion not exclusion.” -Robert N. Hensel
Y’all let me tell you about this awesome group that I am apart of. If you haven’t heard of the David Garcia Project yet then here we are. Named after the late David Garcia, a worker in the World Trade Center in New York City who had an incurable eye disease and was killed during 9-11, DGP is a group of people who promote the work of empathy rather than sympathy for people with disabilities. We focus on many different types of disabilities such as visual, auditory, intellectual, developmental and many more. With these, we facilitate simulations for any one to experience the every day happenings of some one with a disability.
This group has given so many people the opportunity to open their minds a little more and learn about a part of diversity that not many people are exposed to.
The first thing you think when you hear the word philosophy is probably someone really smart and very intellectual right, and how you could never think that way? Well here I am to tell you that anyone can use philosophy or be philosophical. Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language (Wikipedia). Within this class, I didn’t just learn how to think philosophically, but also how to navigate my way through philosophical issues in this world.
As a human being, we all bring something unique to the table. With that being said we are all diverse and come from several different backgrounds and upbringings as well. Although we may all have these differences, many of them are oppressed. With in HDF, Oppression: Roots and Impact, we jumped around the many tough topics that make us the people we are today. Those are containing gender, race, socioeconomic status, religion and sexual identification and not limited to only these. As we surveyed these categories in which we identify ourselves in society, we were challenged multiple times to dig into these areas and discover why some have negative connotations and how one thing can govern and identity of one whole group of people. For example, race is a huge identifier in the world and the fact that just being a certain race brings up other controversy among others shouldn’t be a thing. Continue reading
Wow did that go by fast! I remember coming in on the first day the most socially awkward individual ever. As I look back on the year, I realized that I have grown and developed exponentially, not just within making friendships, but within my own values and beliefs. I am so much more confident and know my self better than ever. I was able to discover what I am capable of and where I’m going in life. I was exposed to people from all realms of life whether that be a different culture or family up bringing. It was amazing to see how we all viewed the world in different ways and how through those differences we still found our way back to the similarities. I have learned that I can truly express myself and all my weirdness and quirks to the world and still be happy with myself at the end of the day! Thats right, I said it! I’m weird and silly and not afraid to come out of my comfort zone. This year has given me so many reasons to smile and to appreciate everything that this year has had to offer. It’s hard to even put into words all the amazing experiences and transformations that have taken place in this year.
I came to a final decision of where I am going in life. That is to pursue a degree in Biomedical Sciences to eventually become a Physicians Assistant (PA). I also decided to minor in Leadership, Chemistry and ASL (American Sign Language). Being able to pair all of these up and one day carry a career where all of these can be implemented into my daily life will be the day I look forward to. Being able to pursue a job in the field of medicine has been a passion that has grown with in me even more during this past year. Taking that drive and ambition to be that helping hand in finding the cure for so many harmful diseases I decided to join pre-pa club last semester. This club has given me opportunities to learn more about the PA field than ever before. You’re also around others who share the same passion to better someone else’s life through the work of medicine. Due to my increasing passion for the profession, I am now the head Event Coordinator for the club and can’t wait to pair my leadership and passion together to hopefully allow others love for the field to grow as much as mine did.
Being on campus here at Central has allowed me to appreciate how diverse this campus is. We have one the biggest global campuses here and being able to meet some of these wonderful students from across the globe is truly amazing. I have become so interested in learning about others cultures that I applied to become a desk associate in SHC community next year, which is where the international students are housed. I have also pursued a minor in ASL to understand a culture that I feel is the most wide spread, Deaf Culture. We as hearing people don’t fully understand the daily struggle the the Deaf Community faces and being able to further educate myself on this culture is something that I am looking forward to. Being able to pick up a second language and adapting to communicating in sign language will be truly inspiring and enlightening to experience.
Being surrounded by the most passionate, inspiring, outgoing, crazy people I call my LAS fam, they have allowed me to see the greatness that still exist in others. They have truly impacted me and have aided in my boost of confidence through out the year. Each and every one of them offer something special and I can’t express the lengths they have indirectly impacted me. Although some I may never see as often as others, I am able to walk up to them the next time I see them and be welcomed with open arms and a smile! These are the kind of people you should have in your life. The ones you can talk to so deeply that you realize how messed up this world actually is. The ones you can give your service with and know they understand the lengths to which that services does for the community and what it means to you. I love the members of my cohort who are the greatest people ever, but that doesn’t restrict me to just these amazing humans. There are so many other great humans I have met on this campus and they have allowed me to see the roles they play in others lives. Leadership is instilled in everyone in one shape or form, and being able to see how all my friends put it to use is an array of sunshine I would say. I just makes me want to smile at all the possibilities that the world could benefit from by having these people in it. Thank you to all that have allowed me to grow and dig a little deeper.
In the end there are so many ways in which I have grown and developed into the person I am during this first year of college and although I am going to be in a hefty load of debt, every single penny was worth discovering my self and I can’t wait for what is to come next semester!
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.
We came in to this semester knowing a little bit more about leadership than when we started the school year. The LAS 2015 cohort was ready to hop on the horse. This class was tailored for us to learn how to facilitate and to determine what our most ideal form of leading was. Through this discovery, we all were assigned a workshop to present to the class. These consisted of leadership theories that we had to dissect and facilitate, that characterize the many takes and forms on leadership. My workshop was Culture and Leadership which is a theory that paired these two separate sects together which showed the relation in how being in different cultures can affect your leadership effectiveness. The culture aspect was studied through the GLOBE project, which contained 160 investigators who went out and researched 17000 managers in 950 organizations through 62 societies. This study allowed for cultures to see there differences in leadership through dividing up the countries into 10 country clusters. The purpose was to increase our understanding of cross-cultural interactions and the impact of culture on leadership effectiveness. The first step is to learn about and understand the culture that you are in. If you don’t understand the people that you are working with, how do you expect them to understand you as well. Breaking the barriers and trying to understand all realms of culture whether or not your going to lead an organization, is something everyone should be invested in.
Another requirement of this class was to facilitate an initiative, which is an activity that engages a group in a fun and interactive way, while also teaching them about the many traits that build a leader. My initiative team had integrity which is defined as the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles and moral uprightness. To present this we had everyone get in small groups and played a mock game of “never have I ever” where they would snap if they have done this certain activity and then put a finger down. The questions asked were solely based on situations where you would use integrity. An example would be “Never have I ever knowingly let someone cheat off of me for a test.” Then they would get in a big group and clap instead of snap. Our goal was to see if there level of integrity was challenged when they were surrounded by others who may not do those tasks. Being emerging leaders, its our job to hold a level of integrity not just within our selves but with our followers. If we hold our selves accountable and create a trustful and honest environment, then integrity will prove itself strong.
In the end, this class has showed me all sides to leadership and what forms I may need to use in certain situation, where I can better impact and motivate my followers. It has brought me closer to my cohort and has showed me what I am capable as a leader. I was able to work on my public speaking skills and really task my brain on other ways in which i can better my self and others. If you’d like to see my interpretation of leadership, check out my page on Leadership Philosophy.
As I went into this semester, I thought PSC105L was going to be a dread and a pain in the butt, for lack of words. In the end, this class wasn’t a total let down. I ended up learning a little bit about the way the government works. We learned about the legislative, judicial, and executive branches and how they all function together with checks and balances on one another.The constitution was also a classic piece of history that we went over as well. We touched on constitutional violations during the civil rights movement and on the Standing Bear vs. General Crook case. This dealt with the Article 1 section 9 right of Habeus Corpus. to not be arrested for not breaking a law. This class has showed me that in order to be a well rounded leader, I should have a knowledge of some government facts to lead multiple audiences. Every person should have government smarts in the sense that they know their constitutional rights. As an American we should know the little facts that make us the country we are today.
A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be. ~Rosalynn Carter
Those who inspire us to make the world greater each day are those who lead their team mates to the best they can be. Abby Wambach is that kind of leader for the United States. You’re probably thinking “The United States? Who is she?” Well she is one of the worlds most renowned soccer players of all time. You probably know who she is now, as you recall watching the FIFA World Cup and seeing her infamous headers on goal. Yes, that’s Abby Wambach for you.
When I think of Abby I think of her whole heartedness and compassion she has for each one of her teammate. She has so much drive and tries to be the best while making sure others are at their best too. Even when others are, in fact, better than her she supports them to keep getting better. She is loyal on and off the field and communicates openly with people with a level of honesty. She puts others before herself and creates a positive, and yet goofy, environment that anyone can succeed in. “The key to leadership is that you have to have complete security with yourself.” This is why I value the way she leads because she listens and she’s open with whoever she talks to. She remains confident in who she is and where she came from and no one can change that.
She leads through her service for others as well. She is an advocate for USAID (open link) which supports gender equality in not only sports but in every day life. This shows her passion in making sure everyone is supported and treated equally. She also partakes in philanthropies such as Epilepsy Foundation and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. In supporting and being a part of the LGBTQ community, she is an ambassador for Athlete Aly, which is a nonprofit organization that focuses on ending homophobia and transphobia in the sport world.
Being a leader on the field has not proven her wrong with her two Olympic gold medals and FIFA World Cup champion, six time winner of U.S. soccer athlete of the year award, and being the highest all-time scorer for the national team, and world record holder for most goals scored for males and females, to name a few. But being an advocate for self confidence and beauty influences others to follow her, not just because she’s a great soccer player and has all these awards, but because they believe that they can be beautiful as well.
“Bodies come in all different shapes. Bodies come in all different sizes. My body is very different than most other females. […] I want to show people that no matter who you are, no matter what shape you are, that’s still beautiful.”
I have followed Abby though her career and she has inspired me through my life as an athlete, on and off the field, to do the best that I can and to help others around me in the making. Team work really does make the dream work. With her “Forget Me” commercial, it has shown me that as a leader you don’t have to be remembered to make a difference in this world, as long as the world keeps moving in the right direction, we will succeed.
Leaders create a view which allows people to believe what they believe. In Samuel Sinek’s Ted Talk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” he touched on how forming your why is critical before you try to lead a group or idea. Without knowing WHY you’re doing something how are you going to do it. He relates this golden circle shown below to the sections of the human brain, which was very interesting. The outside portion of the circle represents the neo-cortex, which is the language barrier and controls our speech. The middle two sections make up the limbic brain which controls the way we feel and the basis of our behavior, in other words it is our emotion center. The way the golden circle is suppose to work is to go from the inside out. This triggers expressing the way you feel about your passion and stating how and what your going to do with it, not the other way where you’re just giving the hard earned facts and not expressing what/how you feel about them. Stating the big thing first draws people in rather than stating the facts and losing people along the way.
One thing that stuck with me from this video was “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” To me this simply means that if you portray your visions and your goals as a belief and the center of your dream, then people will follow your dream because they believe in that same idea. It’s the one common bond that drives a whole group to the top. It allows people to succeed in what they believe. The followers that you have aren’t there for you either, they’re there for them selves because they want to do something with this passion that they have and put it into action. This spreads around and creates more followers on their ‘why’ as well. With out the ‘why’, there can be no how or what. All three of these parts in the golden circle depend on one another and without one, there is no action. “There are Leaders and there are those who lead.” Leaders hold a position at the top and and hold authority, but those who lead allow us to believe in something and inspire us all.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”- John Quincy Adams