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.
This class was quite interesting as it was the first time the professor had ever taught this course. So there was no set syllabus and on top of that the entire class knew each other because we were in the same cohort. With that being said, this class was very educational and it furthered my knowledge about leadership.
Every class period we would lecture for about an hour and then for the next two hours we would work in groups on certain leadership scenarios that the professor came up with that day. These scenarios required us to give a lot of thought into our decisions and we were required to have an explanation as to why we chose what we did. At first I didn’t like what we were doing but after a couple weeks of doing it I started to like what was going because it made us contemplate what we were going to do and who it was going to affect. I believe this class furthered the entire cohorts range of leadership knowledge and experience.
Once the semester was over I knew that this class was one of my favorite courses that I have taken so far here at CMU. Every class period I left thinking that I be able to use the subject we talked about that day in every aspect of my life, and I believe that is special!
Our cohort was unable to take moral problems (SOC 221) together, so it was quite different not knowing everyone in the class. At first I didn’t know what to expect of this class because I have never taken a sociology course before and the professor was fresh out of graduate school. There was something unique about this professor though. She had two little pig tails in her hair, was rather short, and wasn’t very old, maybe late twenties. Come to find out she was a great professor because she made you think about what was going on in the world today and what caused it and how it could have been prevented or what it may or may not affect.
During the hour and 15 minute class we talked about trends that were going on in the current society. We mostly talked about in her words, “Things that were fucked up.” She got every person’s mind in the room thinking every single day. Everyone in the class had something to say about the certain topic we were talking about that day. Whether that be how our society views homosexual, heterosexual, and bisexual individuals or how our Earth is being destroyed at a faster rate than ever before.
At the end of this class it got me thinking more and more about how our society is changing each and every day. We can’t resist the change because we will never grow as human beings or as a society. Without change we are lifeless. I am going to take what I have learned from this class and use it in my decision making and how I treat other people. This world is all we have so by creating problems we are only shortening its lifespan.
Ever since I was in National Honor Society in high school I always liked volunteering for local nonprofit organizations. As soon as I got to college nothing changed. From the first day of school till now I have volunteered for countless nonprofit organizations and continue to volunteer on a yearly basis. The places I volunteer for range from back home where I use to volunteer for with my high school basketball team to organizations right here in Mt. Pleasant. Every experience has taught me something that I will never regret. It has taught me to never take what I have in my life for granted and to always give back to those not as fortunate as I might be. A sense of well being always comes over me when I am volunteering to help better someone’s life.
Within the past year I have volunteered for multiple nonprofit organizations and one of those was the Port Sanilac Project Blessing. This organization I have been volunteering for ever since I was a freshman in high school. My high school basketball team and I would help deliver presents to families during Christmas time in the local community. Till this day, every year around Christmas time I go home and volunteer for the Port Sanilac Project Blessing. I love volunteering for them because it makes me feel happy to give back to the people in my community that I once grew up in.
Another nonprofit organization I have volunteered for within the past year was the Port Sanilac Parks and Recreation. This experience was for my summer internship, but it was still all volunteer work. My job was a head softball coach for 8U girls in Port Sanilac. Let me tell you it is an experience in itself trying to teach 8 year old girls how to play softball and dealing with the many mood swings of a young girl. With that said, I wouldn’t have changed my decision to coach those girls a million times over. That was probably the most exciting and life teaching moment in my entire life. I loved every second of teaching those girls how to play softball. Even though in the end we didn’t win a game, but like I told the girls it’s not about winning and losing, it’s about learning how to actually play the right way while also having fun doing it. By the time the end of the season came along, the girls showed so much improvement and were laughing and having fun together playing the game of softball.
I could go on and on about the places I have volunteered for, but I would rather not so the last nonprofit organization I volunteer for during this time of year every year since I was a freshman in college is the Mt.Pleasant Parks and Recreation. My job is a kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade basketball coach for both boys and girls combined. I love volunteering for Mt.Pleasant Parks and Recreation because I get to meet all the kids in the community and see what they like playing sports wise. This opportunity allows me to pass on the knowledge and skills that I was taught from all of my basketball coaches from when I was a kid about their age. Although I love volunteering for Mt.Pleasant Parks and Recreation it is sad to say that this year was my last year with them as next year I will be looking for graduate schools and doing interviews with them so I won’t have the time to volunteer with them in the spring semester for basketball.
When I was in my freshman year at Central my 2013 LAS cohort and I all went to Detroit to volunteer for a local nonprofit for the weekend. I loved the experience that I had so this year I decided I was going to be apart of the “LAS in the D” LEAD Team the the 2015-2016 academic school year. The LEAD Team is very small group made up of 4 to 5 students from each years cohort that are currently in their undergraduate degree at Central. It is overseen by our advisers Dan Gaken and Jesi Ekonen to help with any difficulties we may be faced with. The LEAD Team meets approximately once a month to discus fundraising for the trip and the trip criteria. The trip is scheduled to be in April and we will be staying in Detroit at the local CMU extension office in downtown.
Being apart of this LEAD Team allows me to organize and set up what the freshman LAS cohort will be doing on their trip to Detroit. It ranges from where they will be volunteering that day to where they will be eating and sleeping later that night. I wanted to be apart of this team because I wanted to plan the trip to Detroit for the freshman so that they had as great of an experience as I did when I went to Detroit. I also love volunteering to help better the community, so why not volunteer for a local nonprofit organization in Detroit!
A class and professor with which I still don’t know how to explain is how I felt about PHL 118L. When someone says “Philosophy” to me the first thing that comes to mind is something that is based on your own opinion. It doesn’t make sense to take a class that has to deal with everyone’s opinion because you will never know who’s opinion is right and who’s opinion is wrong. Well I found out their is one person in this big old world that can simply straiten all of this nonsense out. His name is Gary Fuller. He is one of the most widely educated, mysterious, awkward, funny, perverted and respectful individual I have ever came into contact with. There are some days where I can’t stand to be in his class because he is yelling “Keeyae” at the top of his lungs or making up this ridiculous story about a guy beating a cow with a bat called “Harry and the Battered Cow,” but there are other days where this man simply amazes me and what he has accomplished in his time here on Earth. For example, he invited us to his house for a Christmas Party and gave us a tour of his house when we all got there. When we went downstairs to his basement every wall was covered with bookshelves that were full of books that he had read throughout his life. He said he read all of them but doesn’t remember all of them. I will always remember Mr. Fuller for what he has taught us in Philosophy which is that there can be many different opinions but only the most convincing opinion is the one that matters.
It is hard to believe that it has almost been a year since I have been out of high school and one year in college. The first day of school felt like it was yesterday, but really it was nine months ago. During those nine months though I have changed a lot and have meet a lot of amazing new people. I have also involved myself in many different activities on campus. I have been a part of Global Medical/Dental Brigades, Intermural Sports, Relay for Life Lead Team, Basketball Coach for Mt.Pleasant Parks and Recreation as well as LAS. In our LDR 200 class we learned about different leadership theories and approaches throughout the year. There was one that stuck out to me though and that was Leadership and Culture. Coming from a small town I was never influenced by different cultures and ethnicities, but when I came to Central I was exposed to many different backgrounds. While being a leader it is important to be comfortable with different races.
The one element of our protocol that applies to the approach that stuck out to me was the service project we did for Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. It stuck out to me because I never worked with kids that came from a different background then me before. My town has about two hundred or so people in it and they are all the same race, so working with students from Detroit that have totally different backgrounds then where I come from really broadens my view of how Leadership and Culture are related. It doesn’t matter what a person’s race, color, or sex is they can be a leader no matter what if they put their mind and heart into what they believe.
I really enjoyed helping the Leadership Academy students learn more about leadership. I enjoyed watching the Jalen Rose students take charge in the activities and give their feed back in the debriefs we had for them. Also with coming up with their own definition of leadership and their own goals on what they wanted to learn from the initiative. It comes to show that everyone can be a leader if they are willing to listen and learn from different cultures and backgrounds.