#SLcamp15 #LifeLibertyL3

As many of you may know or for those of you who do not know, two of my passions include Education and Leadership. Prior to graduating from Divine Child High School in May 2014, I was selected to become a member of the College Volunteers Facilitators Corps (CVFC) which consists of college students who help plan and develop leadership curriculum, work along side the director of student services of Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP) and Michigan Association of Student Councils and Michigan Association of Honor Societies (MASC/MAHS), and teaching leadership skills to students all across the state of Michigan. We assist MASC/MAHS events like our State Conference and Leadership Training Institutes. Out of all the events we take part in, our Summer Leadership Camp is our “Christmas”.

CVFC members play roles in this camp such as JC’s (Junior Counselors) for all three levels of camp, A-Team, and Captains. This camp is a magical experience where high school students come for one week of the summer to meet friends, share experiences, go through leadership simulations, but most importantly learn how to develop our world into a better place. These students would blow your mind if you ever had the chance to meet them. Their passion, courage, and optimism are so powerful that these students aren’t the leaders of tomorrow, but the leaders of today. They are the reason I know that there is hope in the world. They are the reason I know that our generation isn’t as bad as the media portrays us. They are the reason I know that this world is going to be a better place. If you do not believe me, than I invite you to make a trip to the MASC/MAHS Summer Leadership Camp to form your own opinion.

This year I was fortunate enough to be selected to return to #SLcamp15 for a second year on staff as a level 3 JC. Last year, I served as a level 1 JC and it was one of the most rewarding positions I have ever held. Level 1 was a great experience because I was able to observe first year campers begin their leadership journey through MASC/MAHS. Being transferred over to level 3 this summer was overwhelming at first because I was a sophomore in college placed in a position typically held by juniors and mainly seniors. When I was a camper, I only completed level 1 and level 2 and I had viewed level 3 as the “top dogs” of the organization. It was hard to comprehend that I would be a level 3 JC. Either way, I went into the week with confidence and the results were fantastic.

Camp is a golden opportunity that I wish everyone could experience. Only a very small percentage of students get the privilege to attend all three levels of camp. The Americana theme for level 3 is a total hit with the hashtag #LifeLibertyL3 for all the campers and staff to talk about through twitter. Witnessing these campers and how they have grown from level 1 all the way through level 3 was such an eye opening experience for me as a JC. Some of these students started out nervous and not even wanting to come to camp, and these same students end up as some of the wisest, passionate, and  most engaging young leaders I have ever seen. Level 3 is split up into three councils, Red, White, and Blue with two JC’s in each council. As one of the Americana White JC’s I was blown away by how much these campers already knew about how to impact their schools and communities. But although they may be experienced, there was very much more for them to learn.

We as JC’s, challenged these leaders through Leadership Reactions Courses, teaching them about the Gift of Feedback, talking about their leadership bests and inspirations, learning what values define them, talking about culture and privilege, what issues in schools are going on, rediscovering their passions and how they will put them into action, exploration of higher education, and figuring out how do all of these relate to them as campers and what are we going to do about it. Level 3 is a lot about having fun, but the curriculum is rigorous and pushes the students to evolve into thinking globally by thinking locally. My Americana White Patriotic Polar Bears pushed themselves to the limit and truly discovered themselves while enabling others to act. Facilitating this emotional experience for them was such a confidence booster and really encouraged me to not just guide these campers, but to do the same as they do.

“What did you learn?” was repeatedly ask to them their last night as campers. “What did you learn?” The response: “Family” “Discovering themselves” “Leadership” “Passion” “Values” “Home” “Community” “Acceptance” “Integrity” “Lifestyle” “Happiness” “Hope” “Love” “Camaraderie” etc. This train of emotion caused many tears of campers realizing that it was their last night at a place that was judgement free. A place where they could be themselves. A place that taught them how to imagine the world. A place that taught them to not just imagine, but make it come true. “What did you learn from this camp?” “How will you apply what you learned?” “You are the leaders of today” “You make a difference”. “What did you learn?” B.E. Better Everyday #LifeLibertyL3

The link below was a camper made video that shows a little bit of the magic of camp. I even make an appearance at 1:22 in the video! 🙂

IMG_1872 IMG_1835 IMG_1806 LifeLibertyL3 Camp 15 camp 2015

Lead Team Reflection

As Leader Advancement Scholar, one of our requirements is to be an active member of a all LAS group called a LEAD TEAM that has a specific job in order of the advancement of the Leadership Institute. The LEAD TEAM that I was a part of was our 2015 Competition Day LEAD TEAM. The LAS Competition Day is an annual event that we put on as our day where we just the top 80 applications for the Leader Advancement Scholarship. There the potential LAS students go through an interview and multiple leadership activities and are judged by current LAS. We all get to hang out a talk to the students.

Our LEAD TEAM was very fun and we got it all accomplished with ease. We only met once and all the rest of the communication was done through email. Competition Day itself was the execution of our LEAD TEAM. We planned literally everything, hosted the events, and made sure that everything going on at the event ran smoothly.

After participating with the Competition Day LEAD TEAM, I learned a lot about email communication. I personally wish that we met more often because I feel like other LAS benefitted more through their LEAD TEAMS then I felt with mine. Yes, I did have a lot of fun, but I feel like I did not get out of it what I wanted to get. I am much looking forward to hopefully be working with another LEAD TEAM.

I do not have any digital evidence for Competition Day, but here is a snapchat at Midnight the day of Competition Day and a text from my Mom.

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Post-Service Trip Reflection

LAS in the D 6

As you read in my most previous post, I was fortunate to attend the LAS in the D service trip. Can I say that this was probably the most fun I have had all year. We got to go downtown and visit Ford Field and Lowe Campbell Ewald, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and eat some heavenly pizza at PizzaPapalis. This stuff was all the fun I had imagined, but the most important thing we did on our first day was facilitating a leadership day for the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy.

The Jalen Rose Leadership Academy is four year secondary charter school located in Detroit, Michigan. One of our LAS alum is a teacher at this school which had given the Leadership Institute a good connection to the school. Giving these children the opportunity to participate in leadership activities actually was quite inspiring. Most of the children of this school do not get the same opportunities to get involved in leadership roles like we do everyday.

The next day, we had the privilege to work with the Motor City Blight Busters and learn about their organization. The people who had started the organization had a dream and built on in. We served them by spreading mulch on a big field which will eventually be used for urban farming.

I felt that this trip was very beneficial for me to have. I have learned the importance of what it truly means to serve a city that has served us throughout our lives. Working with the students at Jalen Rose really impacted me since I want to become a teacher when I get older. Also serving with the blight busters I felt also gave me the motivation to want to go out and give back to the community. LAS in the D was very successful and I hope that I will get the opportunity to do it again!

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Preview: Detroit Service Trip

This upcoming weekend, I have been given the wonderful opportunity to give back to the community. One form of leadership is service and is one of the main purposes of our Leadership Institute at Central Michigan University. As we all know Detroit is not in one of the top places to live, economy isn’t too hot, and has such a negative vibe that people tend to attach to it. Detroit has probably the worst reputation in the entire country. These are the things we hear, whether you have heard about it on the news, from family, or even at your schooling. It may be negative, but it all adds up to our mission of the Leadership Institute.

The Leadership Institute’s main goal is to develop not just leaders, but leaders that actually strive for success in all aspects of life. We can’t just give up and throw a city like Detroit in the dirt. People give Detroit such a bad name, but the only way of getting rid of a reputation of such, is by actually going out into the world and working as hard as you can to make a change. Our vision of the Leadership Institute is to give back to community, love the community, and improve the community.

One thing we really do care about is service. Service is what you do for others without expecting anything in return. It is something that really is the building blocks of a paradise. If everyone served each other, no one would ever have to worry about a single thing in this world. Going on this service trip is another step in my adventure to be the best leader I can be. Being a true leader is defined as what you give to others and service proves to the world that you care. I can’t wait to see what this weekend has in store for me!

Leadership Book Review

A person and their ability to make possibilities possible form leadership, but the only thing holding people back is themselves. In this 2010 book, Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, authors Chip and Dan Heath really formed a good analogy to how people can overcome obstacles in their lives. These authors are both very qualified. Chip being a professor at Stanford’s Business School teaching about business strategies and organizations, and Dan working with Duke University’s CASE center. CASE is an institute that helps develop young entrepreneurs. Dan also founded Change Academy within CASE, which is a vigorous program to improve the impact on social leaders.

Reading the title, I was interested to see the authors’ view on how people can change themselves for the betterment of society. The Heath brothers really had a unique way to describe our brain and how we can overcome our fears to gain success. The Heaths use the analogy developed by Jonathan Haidt that our emotional side of ourselves is a giant elephant where our rational side is the human riding the elephant. The rider controls where we are going but if the elephant disagrees, the elephant will win every time. The Heaths say that if we direct the rider, motivate the elephant, and shape the path, we can bring out positive change.

These three little steps are short and direct, but powerful. The first step is to direct the rider. This step is very important because if you want to change something, you have to keep your head in the game. You, as the rider, have to maintain stability otherwise you are just guiding your elephant in figure eights. To guide your elephant, you need to have a vision and ambition to be able to move forward. This may be a hard step to take, but as long as you persevere and have determination then you are setting yourself up right for the next two steps.

For our next step, we have to motivate the elephants within you. Elephants are big and strong, but their soft spot is fear. Our emotions act the same way! If people control their emotions, then we know that no one can break us down. In order to motivate our elephants, we have to be in tiptop mental shape. First off we find our feelings we are scared of and break them down in order to prove to ourselves that we can make a change. Once we are comfortable, we as leaders have to find a way to motivate other people’s elephants to see the same view as we do. Once we direct the rider and motivate the elephant, it brings us to our final step.

Our last step is to shape our path. This step is vital for everyone who wants to make a change. Shaping the path can be whatever you want because it is your world. You have to remind yourself of what you did through the last two steps and your final motive to make this final step a success. This final step is what separates the leaders of society to the followers.

This book really does send a powerful message to CMU leaders and any leaders at all. Switch gives me an easy, but moving way to look at my life and what I want to do with it. It really gives me advice of how to turn my passions to action in order to create a positive atmosphere. I will do my best to follow the three steps of how to change something.

I would definitely recommend this book to my peers because of the use and application of it. It is a book that inspires me to fulfill what I believe I have to do. In any circumstances, I do honestly believe that this book could inspire any ordinary person to push outside their comfort zones to turn their visions of life into a reality. The best part of the book is that it is so general that it can be used in almost any circumstances.

Now that I have read this book, I really think that I have found a successful way to motivate myself to further my education. I’m sure that these steps will work for anybody. I know now to direct my mind to push myself towards my goals. I will motivate my emotions to realize that I can do anything I want because I am a powerful elephant. I will shape my path ahead of me to understand all of the endless possibilities that society and I will create. Anyone can make anything happen, it is just whether or not your mind is up for the challenge.