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.

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.

 

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.

Seth’s Blog Reflection

In today’s society everyone tries to take the easy way out and not go the extra effort to get more out of a challenge. According to Seth Godin, “Organizations, governments and individuals prefer to find the solution that’s guaranteed to work, takes little time and even less effort.” So the problems we are left with are the problems that will take ridiculous amounts of effort, untold resources and the bravery to attempt something that might not work. Less and less people are willing to go that extra mile. When a person accomplishes their goal or project they stop there, instead of furthering their knowledge about the situation and continuing to work harder at the task.

What this means is that if everyone knew the answers to their problems before the problems came about then we wouldn’t do anything. We would just sit around and do nothing because we wouldn’t have to face our problems and learn from them, we would already know the answers to it. It is important that we do not let this happen and face our problems. We become stronger when we make mistakes. We need to stop shying away from difficulties in our lives because they are going to keep showing up again and again and one of these time we are not going to be able to escape it. When it does show up and we are forced to face it, we will not be ready because we are going to be to weak to overcome the obstacle. If we were to face the challenge in the first place we could accomplish it a lot easier because we were stronger and we could utilize other resources that might not be available at a later date.

So knowing this before we start will help us choose the right resources or decide not to start at all on the problem. We could make a decision on the one that won’t be solved in a hurry and might not be worth the effort it’s going to take. If it is though, then pay up and go that extra mile to solve the problem. Knowing how to determine ahead of time which problems are going to take more time to solve will help because we will then be able to make time long enough for us to solve the more difficult problems.

Seth’s Blog

Fred Factor Reflection

The Fred Factor project we were presented in LDR was a project I never experienced in a classroom before. The class was already use to making other peoples day simply by saying hello and giving them a hug, but this was different. We were told to present a project to the class on how a group of people made other peoples day expecting nothing in return called a Fred Project. We had to follow the four principles of the Fred Factor which are everyone makes a difference, everything is built on relationships, we must continually create value for others, and we can reinvent ourselves regularly. In actuality though all we had to do was be ourselves, because this is how we got here in the first place by helping others and not expecting anything in return.

The group that I was in consisted of Hannah McGoldrick, Jessica LaLone, Sam Ekstrom, Avery Manifold, Anna Prielipp, Katie Rae, and me. Our project we was that we would clip clothespins, that had inspirational sayings, on people without them noticing that we clipped their backpacks or clothing. We called this project ChipClips. We created a twitter so the people that we clipped could tweet what the clothespin said and how they felt about the inspirational saying. On the clothespin we also told them to pass it on so that they also could spread the inspiration and feel the rush when they try and clip someone else without them noticing.

What I learned from this experience is that when you do something good for other people you don’t always need to expect something in return. By just making someone else’s day makes your day as well because you know that you just made that person’s day. In the end we will get rewarded in some way we just have to wait.