Something that the Leadership Institute values is our gift of service to the world. As leaders in today’s society it is our responsibility to be able to give back to the community that we are given. We are to work our hardest to keep our Earth beautiful and never give up on it, even if many people already have. For the second time, I was able to go on the LAS in the D service trip in fulfillment of my Lead Team in my LAS protocol. This time I was going to experience this trip to Detroit on the other side of the deal. On our trip we had a fun journey planning the two days there. It may have been a little stressful at first, but overall everything seemed to run pretty smoothly. We took the LAS Freshmen to the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy where we had a service day with the students. Jalen Rose students are required to have community service, so it was nice to help them get service hours while we were all there to help. We also got to volunteer with CASS community center where we helped make food for the homeless and made recycled tires into floor mats. We were also able to have some fun downtown like visiting LAS alumni in the area, eating at Pizzapapalis, and seeing the Detroit Institute of Arts. Overall the trip was an amazing time and I truly see how amazing it is to watch our Freshman learn the importance of service and being able to share it with our community.
College is about education. We are here, most importantly, to earn our degree. I’m working my hardest to achieve my academic goals and use my degree to help me find a teaching job. That is what college is doing for me. For many people, college is not the answer and that is totally fine. Today a good chunk of the jobs out there require a degree and what happens to those children out there who can’t afford college or have been told their whole lives that college will not be an option to you?
I am part of a Registered Student Organization called College 101. In College 101 I am a CPV certified volunteer who helps with many other CMU students take at risk students and show them what college is like and how it is possible for them. We give these students a tour of Central, a mock lecture, show them different educational programs, and get to know them on a personal level. College may not be for everyone, but everyone should have a chance of going to college. This organization really makes me proud to be a CMU student and I hope that I can make a difference for these children to pursue there goals with high education.
Once again as a Leader Advancement Scholarship recipient, the first semester of my Sophomore Year requires me to take HDF 110 and PHL 118L. My last blog was about my PHL class. Now I’m here right now to talk about this class I had a love/hate relationship. This class was very annoying to me because it was online. The context was very interesting, but the class was accelerated by putting a 16 week course into an 8 week. The nice part was finally being done with the class and not having to worry about the final exam at the end of the semester. This class helped me realize the privileges of specific people and how we can all work together to strive for equality.
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! 🙂
My New Year’s Resolution wasn’t anything special, but basically just to have fun and make the most out of this semester. I have definitely made progress on these goals. This semester has literally pushed me to my limit. I have had my ups and downs, but I am doing my best to be the best I can be.
Since being here in August, I must say that LAS and the Leadership Institute has helped me grow tremendously and I can’t thank them enough. I have gotten involved with many different organizations. I became a desk worker, our Hall Council Vice President, a member of College 101, and an Active brother of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. I participated in my events and conferences and was even an Alpha Leadership Facilitator. I have truly advanced myself as a leader on this campus and cannot wait to get involved even more. I have learned a lot about myself as a leader while being involved in all my organizations. I have learned about how to work with others whether you get along or disagree with them. Working with others can be a challenge, but you got to do what you got to do to survive. Happy School Year!
One person out there in the world can be named the Pope of the Catholic Church. In Catholicism the word pope comes from a Greek term meaning “Father”. As a Catholic, it is my believe that the Pope is the closest and messenger from God. Only the most pure and good hearted man in Catholicism is supposed to be the Pope. In my opinion Pope Francis is not only playing his role as Pope, but actually following through his duty of spreading the Word of God and living his life the way Jesus Christ did. I’m not writing this post to debate which religion is wright or to preach. I’m writing this post to spread the leadership ethics that Pope Francis is currently possesses.
Pope Francis is often criticized for being “too liberal” and opening the doors to too many people. What these critics don’t understand that his leadership doesn’t effect just the Catholics on this planet, but the entire world. Of what I have noticed is that Pope Francis is living a life doing the best he can to resemble the life of Jesus Christ. For those who don’t believe in Christianity, Jesus lived his life in peace and did no wrong doing. All he wanted to do was spread his peace and help everyone, good or bad. Pope Francis is reflecting a life that shows that he cares about everyone and is peacefully fighting for the advancement of ethical leadership.
For those who follow the news, you well know that Pope Francis has said that the Catholic Church is open to gays, lesbians, transexuals, transgender, crossdresser, and literally anyone who is open to accept Jesus Christ as our savior. The Church is has often been bashed because people claim that Catholics are “homophobic” and aren’t open to gay people. Pope Francis has been one of the most radical Catholic Popes but I honor him for using the noble phrase “Who am I to judge somebody”. He welcomes everyone, wants the Church to be a safe place, and he even said to a little boy who’s dog had passed that his dog and all of God’s creatures will have a place in heaven. This statement contradicted the previous pope who said that animals won’t go to heaven. Pope Francis is opening up what Christianity is all about and lives his life as an ethical leader.
Many of you might have heard of the book called “The Fred Factor”. For those who haven’t, it basically describes a mailman named, Fred, who does his job to the best of his abilities. Fred goes out of his way to make his job the most beneficial to the people he delivers mail to. It may sound strange but Fred, is a leader that the know one really knew about but inspired Mark Sanborn to write a book about him. Leadership is not only about those who everyone knows about, but is little things that people don’t think about.
For my first semester at Central Michigan University, my final project for my leadership class was to be like Fred. Yes, it is very vague instructions but we could get creative and do anything we wanted to. My group decided to take the Fred Factor to a different level.
Yes, pillow fighting and smarty pants.
The whole point of the Fred Factor project didn’t have to be too deep and meaningful, but just being there for our CMU community letting them know we care and are there for them. We hope that by doing something as little as a pillow fight can brighten the mood of somebody and guide them to brighten the moods of other people. Lead by example.
If anyone out there reads any of my blog posts know that I attend Central Michigan University and know that I am a total leadership nerd. Everyone knows that the President of any college or university is always busy. I talk to my friends many other universities that have told me that they don’t even know the name of their President. My friend from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor told me that it was unheard of to even make an appointment with their president. Central Michigan is very different. We have a man who is very honorable and known by everyone here. Our President will make an appointment with anyone with a concern. Our President supports his students and makes his best effort to get to be a part of student activities. Our President not only cares, but believes in our student body. Our President is Dr. George Ross.
(Ignore me bumming out, I had a very rough day)
This picture was taken with President Ross when our Residence Hall had set up a meeting for him to have pizza and talk with him. It doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but it really is. He really is such a great guy to look up to because he genuinely cares about his students and went out his way just to have pizza and hang out with us. It was so nonchalant, and I can’t think of any university presidents that make time for the people that matter most.
About a week later President Ross came to my LDR 100L class to speak to us about leadership in his life. The 44 of us got to hear his story and ask him questions about anything we wanted to hear. My favorite thing I heard leave his mouth was how he told us that leadership is one of the most important quality a person can have. He truly believes that leadership education can do so much good for a person’s life that they have the ability to change things to make them right. I couldn’t agree any more. President Ross may just be known by students and staff of Central, but he is an icon that I inspire to be. Do I want to be the President of Central Michigan University? I don’t know, maybe someday, but one thing I can tell you is that I want to inspire others. I want to make this world a better place. I believe we can and I believe in anybody who thinks they can, but it all starts with an inspiration. It all starts with a person who cares. It all starts with a person like George Ross.
As a Leadership Advancement Scholar at Central Michigan University, there is a requirement to attend Central’s own Leadership Conference hosted by the Leadership Institute. Connections Leadership Conference is once at year located at the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City. I didn’t really know much about it other than everyone telling me how much fun there is and you are lucky if you are able to go.
We got to the Great Wolf Lodge and we checked in. The main set up is there are three different sessions that you get to choose where to go. These sessions all taught us valuable lessons on how to make you a better leader and how to use resources from our university. This was such a great learning expierence for me. After these three sessions, we went to dinner and got to meet CMU students from all different organizations. It was cool to meet many new people, not just our LAS Cohort. After dinner was some really exciting news. Two words. Water Park. This was a blast to say the least. Everything from water slides to the hot tub just soaked us in leadership. After the fun and joy of the water park, a LAS sophomore, Trino the Magician, performed for us a magic show that really blew our minds.
Waking up bright and early the next morning was probably the worst part about the conference, but we made it work. Breakfast was served and we were off to our final session. My session had to deal with procrastination. It was perfect for me. It really helped me out with my time management and it will definitely be something I will use for the rest of my life. After this session, we were sent together with our LAS cohort and talked about what we liked, disliked, and were indifferent about with our cohort. This is were I felt some tension in the room, but talking it out was the best thing for us. I really felt that after Connections our cohort bonded much better and made ourselves into better people. This is one reason I feel Connections was really important. The conference was not just about how I can make Central and our community a better place, but how I could make myself a better person.
“Welcome to CMU” is what I heard from a bunch of screaming safari guides walking into Finch Fieldhouse. I was quite overwhelmed at first because there were so many people. Over 2,000 students were in attendance. I have participated in many leadership conferences and camps previously, but none of them were anything like this experience.
Leadership Safari is a program put on by Central Michigan University to help incoming students, whether you are a Freshman on your first day or Junior transfer, adapt and feel welcome to their new school. Many people will ask about Leadership Safari and wonder what did you do. “Wow” seems to be the common answer because you don’t really know how to explain a weeks worth of excitement, enthusiasm, friendship, eye opening, reflection, diversity, self worth, and so much more. We learn so much during this week in such an unique way. We listened to guest speakers including: “The Dating Doctor” David Coleman, Michael Miller, Ed Gerety, Slam Poets “The Asia Project”, and comedians Eric O’Shea and Alexandra McHale. These speakers all had a very interesting way to explain to us how to take the shoes of other people and walk a couple miles in them to see not just our way, but the perspective of others. Leadership isn’t just about self gain, but the betterment of people surrounding us. Let me introduce to you a group of new CMU students that really impacted my life.
Each participant in Leadership Safari get placed in a group of 8-12 people to do activities, and other interesting games and challenges. I introduce to you my safari group, Team Moth… Yes, moth. You would think that we could have had a name like Tiger or Panda. No, I was one of the many unfortunate participants who got a scary insect like millipede or termite. Anyways, we improvised to call ourselves the Mothia. Get it.. I know we are too clever, but clever is something very little that describes us. Our team (Pictured Above) (Top Row: Brennan, Nate, Dakota, Aly, Evan (myself), and Kylie. Bottom Row: Jeana, Faith, Lane, Kayde, Olivia, and Mercedes) is a very diverse group. They taught me so much Safari Week its unbelievable. Learning about different people and how they see one view completely different than another person is very interesting. This particular group of people come from different homes, with a different style of living, with different families, different group of friends, different views on life, and different views on one another. The one thing that wasn’t different about each other, is that we all consider ourselves to be best friends. Building the connections and friendship, I feel, is what Leadership Safari is all about. We might all be different, but together, we are all Chippewas.