Proud to Be Phi Kappa Tau

In April 2015, I was initiated as brother of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity and it is what happened to be the best thing that happened to me in my college career. Fraternities in the United States have a pretty bad reputation but I want you all to hear my story. I struggled in college, had lost a couple friends, and it seemed at the time that the whole world was against me. Greek Life had never really been something I could see myself being a part of because of all the heat that fraternities take. I didn’t want to be hazed, I didn’t want to be forced to drink, I didn’t want my grades to worsen, and most importantly, I didn’t want to lose all my money paying for dues.

I was convinced by a friend to rush and just see what happens. Eventually I had found that Phi Kappa Tau had most represented me. The brothers cared about me, offered many leadership opportunities, shared the same value, have fun, and had a group that was different from each other yet still held a bond that I will always hold. I won’t go super deep into my associate period, but I will just to the beginning of this semester after my initiation. I have met my absolute best friends and I could imagine life without them. They picked me up when I was down, I learned from other brothers’ mistakes, and have been able to serve my chapter and my community. The amount of networking I have made meeting brothers from across the country that all have the same beliefs as me is something truly spectacular.

I have also been able to take on an executive board position as our Philanthropy Chairman where I raise money for our National Philanthropy, SeriousFun Children’s Network, giving terminally ill children a summer camp experience free of charge. Planning our 3rd annual SeriousFun Week is still one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences I have ever had.

Being a part of this chapter for the last 2 and a half years, it is great to know that you are putting your effort into something bigger than yourself. Phi Tau was everything I needed and if it wasn’t for this group, I do not know if I would still be here at Central. Since the group, I have learned how to manage my time, my grades have skyrocketed, and learned to use your struggles in the past and turn them into life lessons. I’m blessed to be a part of a group that is so accepting to who you are and for that I am Proud To Be.

 

Moral Problems PHL 118L

As a Leader Advancement Scholarship recipient, we are required to take certain classes that follow our protocol. For the first semester of our Sophomore year we are required to take HDF 110, which is a whole other story, and PHL 118L, Moral Problems. Now this class was very interesting to say the least. First off, it was at 8:00 am. Rule number one of a college student is to never take an 8 am unless you either enjoy early mornings or you have no choice. Yes I didn’t have a choice. Realistically my body was at class everyday, but my mind surly wasn’t. Secondly, the first day we walk into class with this crazy old dude that has quite a lot of energy. That my friends, is Professor Gary Fuller. Now Gary is a mysterious figure, that I didn’t really get at first. His main philosophy is to basically question everything and then come up with an answer. Even the most ridiculous questions came up like whether or not it was morally acceptable to kill a cow because you were angry. That’s when it hit me right in the beginning. Moral problems wasn’t about what is right or wrong, but what we do as leaders to figure out how we keep everyone satisfied when it comes to making a difficult decision. This class did teach me how to think outside the box and I’m supper happy that we had a wonderful Christmas party at Gary’s.

#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! 🙂

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Year in Review Reflection

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!

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Mentor/#LeadChat Reflection

In our LDR 200L class we learned what it truly means to be a mentor. We all really reflected on our lives as a mentee and thought about what will happen when we become mentors. Our whole LAS class got together and discussed what to in specific situations and what we would do as mentors. We also participated in the mentorship #LeadChat through the CMU Leadership Institute. We get to use the positivity of social media to express our views to the world about leadership and mentorship.

My views on being a mentor have not changed, but I do know that I want to be there for my mentees and hope they know that they will be able to use me as a resource and friend whenever they need. A mentor’s biggest responsibly it to not take over their mentees’ lives, but guide them when they need. Let them grow and develop on their own but making sure they have your guidance and support.

I am preparing to be an effective mentor by talking and being encouraging to my mentees. I have technically have met both of them, but will meeting them a second time as their mentor.  I can not wait to establish a connection with them and will doing my best to make sure my mentees benefit off of me. Welcome to the Family Dalton and Bobby!

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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!

Papa Francisco

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.

Pope Francis