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.
Woowzah! That is one in a million things I can say about this amazing individual! Sometimes you will meet people who you know will make such a significant impact in so many lives that you are just honored to have them in your life. Madeline is that person! Being a mentor was something I didn’t think I would be great at but it ended up being such an honoring experience. You go into this relationship wanting the best and hoping to teach your mentee something, and hoping you did just that. Somewhere along the way, I feel as if I’ve learned more from Madeline than she has learned from me! Here are some things I’ve learned:
- Find what makes your heart burn with passion and stick to it
- Love endlessly
- Christmas is THE best season
- Puns are great
- To serve God in life
- Music speaks to the soul
- Family is forever
- BREAD IS AWESOME
- To embrace the weird
- SO MUCH MORE….
BEing a mentor has continually made me a better person everyday. I strive to be that person others can look up to and that will always be there for them in the end. Being a mentor is a blessing and Madeline is truly one to get to know! Thank you for not only being the beautiful person you are but for impacting my life and many others! You will for sure make a bomb mentor and gma is here to spoil her gbaby rotten.
“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.
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.
“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 most unique things about the Leaders Advancement Scholarship is being able to have a mentor there for you, as well as your cohort, as you transition into college life. One way for you to develop that relationship and get to know every one in your cohort more is at the Mentor Mentee Retreat at Eagle Village. In my case, the day when the retreat started just happened to be the same day as a football game where I had to march for band, but that didn’t stop me from going! As soon as the game was done we worked our way up there so we could be there for the last day of activities.
My mentor, Taylor Brown has been a huge help in my first year here at CMU. The fact that we have so much in common, according to goals as to where we’re going in life with our careers, and random things in general just makes her the absolute best mentor. Once I arrived at Eagle Village everyone was surrounding a camp fire after a long day of activities. The campfire talk was prime bonding time where everyone opened up and shared tips, stories, friendships made, or just information about college in general.
The next day was a day filled with challenge. In order to take a relationship/friendship further you have to instill a level of trust with in one another. This obstacle was going to be on a high ropes course. Being a natural dare devil at heart, I have completed ropes course before as well as my mentor so we decided to take it a step further to implement a challenge on ourselves. We went on the course BLINDFOLDED!!
It was a challenge we were willing and ready to take. Being blindfolded created a level of vulnerability that you had to overcome. Having Taylor there through this task made it a whole lot easier. We were basically each others set of eyes as we went across the obstacle. For the most part everything wasn’t too bad and the course was pretty easy! But then came the jump! The jump at the end didn’t seem like it would be the worst part, but if Taylor wouldn’t have been there to give me support and everyone else there saying it was okay it would have taken me forever to jump! At the end I feel like the mentor mentor retreat is great and they should keep it going on forever! Even though I didn’t get to spend the full fledge time with every one, I was still able to create those bonds everyone says comes out of this! I love my class and I love LAS!
Watch this * video here* to see what the fun is all about!