When I was a freshman here at Central Michigan University I had to decide which LEAD Team I wanted to be apart of. There were so many to choose from and I had no idea which one I wanted to put my time and effort into as all of them intrigued me. Then I came across the Relay for Life Lead Team and I knew that was the one I wanted to be apart of because I helped organize countless Relay for Life events when I was in high school. My grandmother had also died from cancer two years prior so it made my decision even more worthwhile.
During the course of the year we planned events in order to donate money toward the Relay for Life fund. The event we organized was a scripted dinner that was a dinner but the people at the table were actually part of a scripted event. The dinner was a huge success! Then along came the Relay for Life event which we were planning all year long. There were quite a few teams there and every team had a countless number of people. So in the end the Relay for Life event was another huge success for the University.
I loved every second of being on the Relay for Life LEAD Team my freshman year that I decided to stay on that LEAD Team for my Sophomore year. Once again that year was a huge success for the University! I will never forget the time I spent planning for the event with the rest of the team and seeing what an impact it made on everyone in the community.
Going into my sophomore year at Central I was starting to get the feel of college and what it all requires, but I felt like I was missing something still but I had no clue what that was. So one day in our philosophy class David Walter asked me what I was doing later that night. I proceeded to say I wasn’t doing anything, so he asked me if I wanted to go to an event. I thought about it for a minute or two and told him yeah why not. So later that night David came down to my room to come get me and we walked down to Main St. and I asked where we were going and he said you will see in a little bit. We kept walking down Main St. and after a block we came to the door of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) house. They were having a recruitment event that night and I didn’t quite know how to fell about what I might have gotten myself into, but I went in a talked with a few of the guys there and they all made me feel like I belonged there and talked about the most random things. Once I got back my dorm I was very interested in joining SAE.
The next day I messaged the president of the fraternity asking about joining and he said that would be great and he would set up a meeting later that weekend. So before I knew it I was the new member of the Michigan Delta Omega Chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. I never really thought of myself as joining a fraternity, but if I could go back I wouldn’t have changed it. Their morals are the exact morals I strive to live by every single day of my life. Our creed is something I have come to try and perfect in myself. Particularly whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others, rather than his own and who appears will in any company. For the last two years SAE has been a real life opening experience. I have meet guys that will become lifelong friends that I also get to call my brothers.
This past year has probably been the biggest up and down for me in the fraternity. We won the softball championship for softball, but lost in the first round of playoffs in flag football even though we were the number one seed. I had to say goodbye to the guys I hang out with the most in the fraternity due to them going alum. The hardest part about this past year is seeing my big, Jeremy Herman who I have come to be great friends with and actually feels like an older brother to me, go alum because he graduated from college. We have recruited two of the biggest classes SAE MI-DO has ever seen. With all of these experiences that has changed my life forever it is time to turn the next page and go alum at the end of the Spring 2016 semester.
A mentor is a person or friend who guides a less experienced person by building trust and modeling positive behaviors. An effective mentor understands that his or her role is to be dependable, engaged, and tuned into the needs of the mentee. I want to model all of this and more to welcome my mentee in to college. I want to be like their brother they never had if they didn’t have a brother already. I want to be their best friend so that they can come to me with anything because they trust me and believe that I will point them in the right direction.
I am most looking forward to meeting a new person that might become my best friend that I have never met before in my life. My mentee and I have a lot in common, so I have a feeling we will have no problem getting along. I can’t wait to become a Sophomore and pass down my experiences to my mentee while also learning from my mentee’s experiences.
I have been preparing my whole life to become a mentor. The Leadership Advancement Scholarship picked 40 high school seniors that they knew were leaders in their community. These leaders grew up wanting to help better society every day for as long as they could walk and talk. Now being one of those 40 leaders and having an entire year of college experience I am even more ready to become a mentor. Not only did I learn about being a mentor this year through college experiences, but I have also learned about being a mentor from my family tree. They were so helpful in helping me transition into college from high school and I plan on helping my mentee do the same thing. I have learned how to manage time in between classes and how to get around campus. I want to help my mentee do same thing and even more so they can have the least stressful experience possible in college.
After getting about two hours of sleep we were all up bright and early to go and volunteer for the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative. When we showed up to the first sight we were told this was where the LAS cohort from last year volunteered and that we would be heading somewhere else to volunteer this time. So we headed deeper into the heart of Detroit and when we got to the place where we were going to be volunteering it was a sight I was not use to seeing. Some houses were being torn apart, some looked like they were lit on fire, and others looked like no one had lived their for awhile. The house that we were going to work on though was under construction and being ripped down to its original structure.
Tyson, the guy that was the head of the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, handed out jobs to my cohort. Some were told to pick up trash around the block, some were told to help inside the house, some were told to haul trash bags full of plaster to the side to the streets for mass pick up day on Tuesday, and others were told to burn the pieces of wood that were in the trash bags. I was one of the people who were given the job of cleaning up inside the house. When we got into the house we were told to put on white cloth suits, breathing masks, and eye protection so that we wouldn’t get hurt or breathe any dust particles. We were then told to go upstairs and pick up and separate the plaster, insulation, and wood pieces. The plaster and insulation were to be put in garbage bags and the wood pieces were to be put in plastic containers. After we got done with upstairs we hauled the materials downstairs and into the street were the other LAS students were putting the bags on the side of the streets and the wood in the fire. When we got outside though a police officer had shown up and asked were the supervisor was. Tyson came out and talked to the officer and after a couple of fire trucks and hazardous waste trucks later the whole situation was cleared and we got back to work. Tyson then told us we had to separate the garbage bags that were on the side of the streets into bigger sections and smaller piles. By the time we got done separating the bags it was time for a quick picture and then time to hit the road back to Mt. Pleasant.
This experience taught me a lot about who I am and how other people might have a harder time then me in life. I realized that people in Detroit jump to conclusions before they actually know what is going on because so much hatred and crime has happened that not very often a glimpse of light shows through the cracks in the sidewalks. I also learned that when leading a group there is plenty of factors that can contribute to a good or bad experience and in an instant things can go from good to bad and bad to good. Something that I am going to definitely take away from this service trip is that you can change a lot in only a few hours. You can clean a yard with mounds of trash and a house full of plaster and pieces of wood to a clean yard and house in a matter of hours. Just imagine what a group of people can do to a block in a week. Changing communities by helping them clean up will always be a inspiration to me.
The experience I received from this service trip was not only eye opening, but also a reminder that there are other people in this world that have it harder than me. I am so happy to have been able to share this experience with my LAS cohort because together we changed other peoples lives while also changing each others.
I never heard of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy before. I never knew what they taught their students or how their students school schedule worked, until now. I found out that the students go seven days a week for seven hours a day. I found out that their teachers and faculty don’t put up with horse play and are very strict in order to keep the school running smoothly. This year the faculty decided to create a PILOT program, almost like a honor roll class, for a certain amount of Juniors that showed excellence both in and out of the classroom and displayed leadership to the other people around them. We meet with the students of the PILOT program to teach them more about leadership and how they can teach it to others simply by creating an initiative that has a few activities, lays out what leadership means, and what each group wants to accomplish through experience. I was group yellow and we started off by playing an activity called the noodle game which gets the group to interact and learn the names of the people in the group. After that we were more familiar with each other, so we moved on to the next activity which was coming up with what leadership meant to the PILOT program students and what their goals were to get out of our time together. The last activity we did for the day as a group was called gutter ball. This activity was designed to help a group interact even more while also learning on how to build relationships and teamwork within a group. After the activity we said goodbye to the PILOT program students as they went with Jesi and Dan to learn about how they personally can do an initiative. After Jesi and Dan got done meeting with the students we got to talk with the co-principle of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy and ask him some questions about how a typical day goes or how his journey to this position came true.
This experience to me was amazing. The co-principle was a Stanford graduate who could have went anywhere in the world he wanted to, but he decided to come to a city that has had a lot of hard times and build an academy from the ground up. He has put his heart and soul into this school and would do anything for the students of Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. He has worked so hard for the academy and it definitely shows. Everyone wasn’t on board at first, but after they noticed that it can be done and will be done they jumped on board and went along with it. What I am definitely going to take away this experience is that if you put your heart and soul into something you truly love, then nothing will ever stop you from reaching your ultimate goal in life.
When John Bacon first walked into the room I didn’t know what he was going to talk about or even if it was going to be entertaining, but when he started to talk he talked with so much passion and so much enthusiasm that I gave him my utmost attention. His stories of Bo Schembechler from when he was a ten year old boy to working with him on his bestseller book were so descriptive it felt like I was there. His passion was so great when he talked about his four C’s of leadership and Bo’s Lasting Lessons: The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership.
Character: Mr. Bacon could have spent all day talking about character. His stories, his examples, and his intelligence were just amazing. He started off by saying “Be Yourself.” You cannot fool anyone in this world about who you truly are. You are only fooling yourself. He gave us an example of when he was a head coach for a college hockey team. He said, “People you may coach will know you better then you know yourself by the end of the season.” He went on the talk about when he was a ten year old boy and met Bo for the first time in his life. He was so excited at first, but when he saw him, he lost all of his nerve to ask for his autograph. Bo came up to him though and signed his pamphlet for John. What John noticed though throughout his life is that every single autograph Bo signed ,which was close to a 1,000,000, was the same. It wasn’t a scribble either. You could read it when you looked at. John went on to say, “Your character is what you do when you think no one is watching.”
Concern: The first thing he did when he got into our classroom was he asked one of us our names. He repeated it a couple of times and went on with his presentation. Later in the presentation he when he was talking about concern he pointed out the person he asked what their name was and said their name. He remembered it the whole time he was speaking. “Listen before you lead,” is what John said after he repeated their name, “You cannot motivate people if you don’t know them.” A person has to know who he is leading before he can lead because if not then the group is unmotivated to follow or even listen. So be concerned with who you are leading and where they came from.
Communication: When Mr. Bacon started talking about communication he started with saying, “If you have a problem with something or someone either talk in private or shut up.” He doesn’t like when people want to complain about things and not talk to the person they are complaining about. He later went on to talk about taking credit for other people’s accomplishments. He said, “The second you take credit for the team is the second you lose their trust and respect.” “We don’t have to worry about people talking to us and coming to us with their problems, but the second people stop coming to you is the second you stop becoming a leader.” By this he meant that when people stop coming to us with their problems and ideas is when you stop becoming a leader. Don’t lose the people around you. Stay in contact because as soon as they stop talking to you is when they stop caring about you.
Caring: John said, “I know what you guys were thinking when I walked in. You were thinking oh dang here is another speaker going to talk to us about leadership, but will be more interested in what time it was or how long they had left then actually talking about leadership.” He said, “You can tell within five minutes if the presentation is about you or them.” When you speak to a group be enthused and be energetic. People don’t want to listen to someone who is boring and doesn’t know what they are talking about. “Bring more energy then the people you are speaking to.”
Being a Leader Advancement Scholar definitely has its benefits. Having a weekend planned out, so that a mentor and their mentee can get to know each other more definitely has its advantages. Eagle Village has so many experiences to offer for a mentor and mentee to become closer, such as ropes coarse and a giant ladder. They require a mentor and mentee to work together and rely on each other when one or the other has a disability they have to compensate for.
I learned more about being a leader and how a leader deals with struggles that one has to deal with. Being able to work well with others allows a leader to become more social. It allows them to interact and communicate with the community around them.
Being able to be more socially active on campus allows me to meet new people and build relationships with other organizations. Learning more about leadership helps with being able to lead a group and organize the problems that need to be dealt with. Eagle Village taught me how to become a leader on and off campus.