“Relay for Life” LEAD Team

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.

Life as a Volunteer

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.

MPPR basketball 2.jpg

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.

“LAS in the D” LEAD Team

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!

 

CMU’s Athletic Committee

I have always been involved in sports since I was a child and it really sucks not being able to play a sport after high school, but I have come to realize that there are other ways I can give back to the sports I once loved to play. By being a member of the Athletic Committee for Central Michigan University’s student athletes I get to continue to monitor and provide for the athletes that participate in the sports I love. The athletic committee is a small group made up of faulty and staff along with a non student-athlete representative and a student-athlete representative. The committee meets once a month, usually on the second Tuesday.

A few of the purposes of the athletic committee is to monitor and evaluate the athletic departments performance using as the basis of its evaluations CMU’s statement of its mission. We get to regularly review issues associated with the welfare of student-athletes participating in Mid-American Conference and National¬† Collegiate Athletic Association sports to ensure that the University and the Athletics Department maintain the proper balance between participation in athletics and academic achievement. We also communicate the concerns of student-athletes participating in intercollegiate athletics to the Academic Senate and the University community, including the Athletics Department, the University administration, academic departments, the faculty as a whole and other groups as warranted. Last but not least, the athletic committee prepares an annual report and other reports as needed, advising the President and the Academic Senate of the Athletics Department’s performance with respect to its academic and athletic goals and with respect to the welfare of the student-athletes participating in Mid-American Conference and National Collegiate Athletics Association sports.

The athletic committee allows me to stay close to the sports that I once played by being able to monitor what actually goes on. It also allows me to meet new faculty and staff members that work for Central that could become possible references in the future. Being able to stay close to what I truly love so much has benefited me more than I could have ever imagined.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon

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.

SAE softball

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.

Pre-Physical Therapy Club

When I first got to Central I had an idea of what I wanted to do for my career, but I didn’t know anyone or who I was suppose to visit with for more information on what I wanted to do, then Mainstage happened. I found what I had been looking for along that would point me in the right direction. The registered student organization (RSO) that I came into contact with was Central’s Pre-Physical Therapy Club.

The Pre-Physical Therapy Club is dedicated to informing and bringing together students interested in the field of Physical Therapy. Students range in ages, grades, and majors. Meetings provide insight to the graduate school application process, specialties in the field of physical therapy, assistance with undergrad major decisions and course work, along with interactions with physical therapists and graduate school faculty. Events are held during each semester, including socials, fund-raisers, and volunteer events. The club meets every other Tuesday at 8:00 PM in Pearce Hall 135. Dues are $20 per year.

Ever since I dislocated my elbow in 5th grade and had to go through physical rehab to help heal my arm I have always wanted to be a physical therapist. It took a while to actually see results, but once I could tell where I started and where I ended knew I wanted to do that because I wanted to help people get back to 85 to 90% of their previous strength. If I never ended up going to physical therapy I would have lost all movement in my elbow and would have never been able to fully extend my elbow again. I don’t want to see someone that has been hurt loss all mobility, so that is why I have chosen the career path I am still currently pursuing and also why I have decided to stick with the Pre-Physical Therapy Club since my freshman year of college.

 

Michigan Urban Farming Initiative

SC8SC9

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.