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
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.
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.
“Leadership is influence; nothing more, nothing less.” ~John C. Maxwell
Spark leadership is exactly what the words say. You’re sparking and starting a fire in your leadership. Although some people may say this series was a lot like other leadership camps we’ve been to, I would say that they were right but it was different in a way as well. Spark not only introduced me to different people here on campus, it introduced me to the many things I can portray my leadership into such as clubs, organizations, and volunteering. For me, Spark was an enriching experience.
Session 1: Apple Pie!
As we all came in,everyone was split into different group. My groups name was Team Motivation. We all were there for a common reason that we all shared. That was leadership. As the day went on we created our goals and other guidelines that we wanted to complete as we went through this series. My goal was to get more involved, develop more leadership skills, and to get out of my comfort zone. Our group goal was to build each other up, motivate one another, smile, and to keep our goals in the long run. Also, apple pie was implemented in that as well (group inside joke).
Session 2 & 3: Leadership Style/Development
I came is with the previous knowledge that my leadership style was spirited. To take the test again and get the same thing was no surprise to me. I like to get a group pumped up and have enthusiasm for what we are doing.
I am also on the considerate side as well so while I get people hype I like to make sure everyone feels included and has put in their two cents. While I know that being too spirited can get in the way of the goal, I know how to control the situation when its at hand and I’m able to work with other leadership styles to enhance mine. Some things I said I needed to work on was to think more thoroughly instead of just encouraging people and to speak up. I can begin to practice the act of time meaning using time to think through a situation rather than rationally acting on it. Develop a plan before jumping in is how I will continually try to reinvent my leadership skills.
“A good leader inspires others with confidence in her; a great leader inspires them with confidence in themselves.” ~Raymond Dreyfack
Session 4: Culture
As we were put through a so called game we had to abide by our cites rules and not step out of the boundaries or you’ll be frowned upon. Several of us probably thought that this game was silly and all the things we were doing. Ever so often they would send a group of our people in exchange for another group of people from the other territory. I happened to be one who went over to the other side and boy was it confusing. Everyone was speaking a different language and were treating you differently and walking away. As we reflected back on this game, it came into realization that it was supposed to resemble cultural diversity today and how people aren’t accepted for who or what they are just based on the way they do things. This brought aspect into my eyes in showing that its important to communicate and be able to learn world views so you can become widely diverse.
One of the cool things about CMU is the amount of involvement and interaction or president has with the students here on campus. President Ross is an honest man and tries to build relations so everyone feels like they have a place here and campus and is known. As he started, he gave us a general back ground on his life so we can see where he came from. Out of all of his siblings, he was the only one to graduate high school and the only one to graduate from college.
As he gave us his back ground information, we evolved into the topic of leadership. He touched on many things but my favorite part was about the collaboration and communication, Communication, COMMUNICATION. As we go through our lives being leaders, communication is key in just about everything you do. Working with a group of people and understanding their core beliefs and maintaining those relationships across campus allow for you to create collaboration that can be carried on through those relations. Another point was to continually encourage inclusion through diverse backgrounds. Everyone has something special to offer and if we don’t respect that or their values we are missing out on so many things to learn. We need to educate to eliminate and unify our cultures together so we can build together and share information that keeps everyone up to date. We need to encourage others to speak out and ask those questions so everyone is aware across all divisions.
President Ross is someone to look up too and I happy he was able to come in and talk to us about leadership.