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.

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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.

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“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.

Mentor Reflection

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.

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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.

Theory Application Reflection

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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.

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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.

Resolution Reflection

Everyone wants something in their life, but most people don’t know what they want. They don’t know whether they want it today or tomorrow, now or later, but there is always a want in someone. What they want may come fast or it may take its time, but when it finally does get here they will appreciate it even more. What I want is never now, it is always something in the future. For example, I want all A’s at the end of the semester. I never know what I want now, but I always know what I want in the future. I want to build my own house, get married, and raise a family with the one I love I know I want that for a fact. Another thing I always want is to go above and beyond my own expectations. I know if I can do this then I would be the happiest person in the world, but some times it doesn’t end up the way you expect it to. That’s why you always have to believe in yourself and keep pushing on with your head up.

There is only three things I need for the year of 2014 and they are Family, Love, and Laughter. I need family because they are the ones that my life revolves around. They are the ones that keep me going day in and day out. They are the ones that when I am having a bad day will always be there for me to listen and to talk me out of my state of sadness. I need love because it’s what keeps your heart pumping and your confidence booming. Love is what shows you other sides of people and what they are capable of. The last thing that I need is laughter. Laughter releases the stress that builds up inside someone. Everyone says it takes more muscles to frown then it does to smile.

Well since I am becoming a Sophomore in college this coming fall that means I get a mentee. Oh all the things I am going to be able to share with him or her. Like what classes to take and not take, where to go if they need help with classes, and always if they need help with homework I will be there to help them with that. Another thing I will share this year is my services to my community and family. Each day I plan on making a difference for someone I come into contact with, whether it be something simple or something that changes their life forever I want to be apart of that.

The only thing I will succeed at is the thing I poor my heart and soul into. If I put anything less then that into whatever I am doing then to my expectations I have failed because like I said before I expect myself to go above and beyond what I am expected to do. I know this year is going to have its up and downs, but I just hope I can succeed in whatever I plan on doing this year.