Where do I even begin? Basically as a LAS sophomore you take a “mentee” from the newest LAS class and act as a mentor for them. In my case I was blessed with “mentees”! Thats right I am fortunate to have two in my hands out of all of the amazing leaders of LAS class of 2015. It was a really amazing experience to see how much Bobby and Dalton have grown throughout the year. I can tell how busy they are and how involved they are becoming on our campus. It is so crazy thinking that last year I was in the same position. I am so proud of my mentees and I cannot wait to see how great of a job they do as mentors next year to the LAS class of 2016. Wow I’m old now, but that just means that it is Bobby and Dalton’s turn to make their impact on a new freshman entering the world of college and LAS. If you guys are reading this, then good luck and be the best mentors you can be! 🙂
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.
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!
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.
As a recipient of the Leader Advancement Scholarship, it is tradition that a member of the Freshman class receives their own Mentor who is currently a sophomore in the Leader Advancement Scholar program (LAS). The purpose of the mentor in this program is to help out their mentee(s) adapt to the college experience, for they were freshman last year and know how the system works. Our mentors are always there for you for advice and sometimes, you are there for advice for them as well.
Meet this goofball. His name is Ryan. He is my mentor. Ryan Willis, I don’t really refer to him as my mentor, I refer to him as a really close friend. When I first met him as my mentor, he described to me that he doesn’t want to be a “Mentor”, but a friend there for me when I need help and I would be a friend for him when he needs help. I have learned so much from Ryan as my mentor because in my opinion, mentorship is not about being “above” their mentee, but setting an example of how to live to effectively make our world a better place. My first night of college after Leadership Safari, I was expecting to go back to Barnes Hall to go to bed and prepare for my first day of classes. I’m so glad that didn’t happen. I got a phone call at midnight from Ryan saying, “Hey! I’m outside Barnes. Grab a swimsuit and we are going on an adventure!” I head to his car with my big, David, from CVFC (College Volunteer Facilitators Corps) and we drive downtown to Island Park. David is also a sophomore member of LAS but acts as a mentor in a different organization we are both part of. Of course, I have been in Mount Pleasant for 5 days and I have no idea where we are. We walk around this park and end up at this bridge that is above the Chippewa River. Ryan then grabs onto the other side of the bridge to a point where he is just dangling. David says, “We aren’t jumping are we?”. Ryan responds with “Of course we are!”. I was so scared. I look down the bridge to about a 15 foot drop to the water which I could barley see. When I saw David say that he was in, I had no choice but to follow. “There is no way that I am going to watch my Big and my Mentor jump off this bridge without me.” I thought with confidence. I go over to the other side and I say “We jump on 3…. 3…. 2…. 1….” I closed my eyes and just jumped. Ryan and I both fall and pop up above the water to see that David didn’t jump. Ryan and I were so pumped that we went to go do it again hoping that David would come with us. This time we all jumped and had an amazing time. This was quite the adventure for my first night in college. I do feel like I did become closer with Ryan that night.
The next day, Ryan took me over to his mentor’s apartment to meet the rest of the “family”. I met Ryan’s mentor Rachel, Rachel’s mentor Courtney, Courtney’s mentor Veronica, and Veronica’s mentor Nate. This was our LAS family tree. We got to talk and I luckily got to meet some pretty awesome people, two that have already graduated from the LAS program. I can’t believe how much LAS changed their lives and the importance to live in the moment, because once it is over, it is over. They all had story’s like my story of bridge jumping the night before. They did tell me however, that one of my favorite memories that I will make will be at the LAS mentor/mentee retreat.
(My LAS Family Tree. Picture from left: Nate (GGGG Mentor), Veronica (GGG Mentor), Courtney (GG Mentor), Rachel (G Mentor), Ryan (Mentor), and Evan (Myself/Future Mentor)) The Mentor/Mentee Retreat is finally here. The night before I hung out with my family tree and had a good time. The day after, Ryan, myself, and the rest of the Freshman and Sophomore classes of LAS were on their way to Eagle Village for two days of bonding and leadership activities. When we arrived, we were separated into different groups of mentor/mentee pairs. We did different team building leadership activities and a rope coarse throughout the two days. I feel that I have already been so close with Ryan, that the retreat just made us closer. Something I have learned from the retreat was how other mentors in the program were also mentors to me. LAS, no matter what class you are, is a huge family. I learned so much from other Sophomores in the program and I know I could go to any of them for help and not just my mentor. From what I have learned from our Mentor/Mentee retreat, I will not only be a Mentor to my future Mentee, but to all of the future freshman of LAS.