My RSO Involvements

At Central Michigan University an RSO is a registered service organization. I was involved in two this year. The first being Progam Board(PB). I was a part of this organization last year and it is a great group. In PB we are in charge of planning different events around campus. These events could be either be bringing in a special speaker, having fun events, or concerts which are annual. I was a general member this year like I was last year. I got to volunteer for events and help the group succeed. Although I am not necessarily interested in planning events for my future, I think that this was a good way to gain experience and have fun.

I really love my Program Board people and I am happy to have been a part of a great organization. They bring really cool and interesting events to campus. Having an RSO like this on campus allows for the students to allow time to de-stress from everyday life and enjoy free events. I volunteered for a spring Pinterest party, a canvas and coffee, and movies that PB plays. I really enjoyed seeing how these events were put on, and the work that goes into all of it. I gained a lot of knowledge from PB and I can’t wait to come back next year!

Check out Program Board’s twitter with all of the pictures from the events this year at @CMUProgramBoard 

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My next involvement was the Mental Health Association. This was a new RSO for me and I went to it with one of my mentees, Natalie. I am excited to continue with this RSO in the fall and see where it can go. As an advocate for making mental health less stigmatized, I am very passionate about helping this RSO to create awareness. I don’t have much information about this organization, but I am excited to share next year all that I have learned from it. Fire up for Mental Health!

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Giving Back to My Community

I live in a small community. In my community, we take care of our own and support each other. Within my community, I go to a church called Millington Church of God. Within that church, both my mom and my sister carry out jobs that service both the young children and the teens in the church. This past semester had been particularly rough for me so I found myself at home a lot. This is when my service started.

I decided that if I was coming home I wanted to be serving alongside my family. I volunteered my time with the youth kids so I could help mentor them. I found that I really liked volunteering my time with the kids. They go through similar things that I went through and I feel as if I can help them. They also think I am really cool since I am in college so that helps me connect with them.

This helped me make more connections for when I am at home. I feel I am really making a difference in a community I grew up in that helped me become who I am. I have already committed to going on different youth retreats to chaperone and help them grow together. This is my new community and I love it very much. Not only do I get to work with kids, which I love doing, I also get to work alongside my mom and sister and grow with them in a different, adult way. I am connected and it is honestly a really good feeling.

By serving in this youth group I learned that I am never done being a mentor and I get to mentor an awesome group of kids. I have learned so much from being in my position and it has inspired me to become more involved with mentoring programs. Although I am not sure where I want to mentor, I know that it is in my future.

 

SPECIAL EVENTS LEAD TEAM {A LOOK INTO}

As part of the protocol for the Leadership Advancement Scholars at Central Michigan University, we are required to take place in small teams that all help the Leadership Institute to have events. Some of these teams include Diversity, Grad Ball, and Polar Plunge. In this past school year, 2017-2018, I had the chance to be a co-chair with my dear friend Olivia in the lead team called the Special Events Lead Team (SELT).

I was in SELT my freshman year of college and it was a great experience. I felt I was able to meet individuals in other cohorts and also become close to people in my cohort that were on the same team. When applications opened in the spring of 2017 I knew that I needed to apply and offer the LEAD team everything I had to offer it. I was very pleased to hear the news that both myself and Olivia had received the positions and we would be able to work together with a new team.

I would just like to say how awesome of a team we had this school year. Every meeting they came with fresh ideas with a great work ethic and we accomplished many great things. During our first meeting, we put together values that we could think back on while planning future events and we felt like we needed to remember why we were planning these events.

These Purpose, Goals, & Expectations were as followed:

  • Purpose: To plan, coordinate, and execute special/social events within the Leadership Institute.
  • Goals:
    • Relevant meetings
    • Gain/build skills (organization, event management)
    • Plan meaningful & engaging events
    • Connect LAS Cohorts and LI members
    • Improve marketing
    • HAVE FUN 🙂
    • Try new things

 

Our lead team was still a fairly new team and had no prior expectations to what we were supposed to be planning. We were told that those people involved in the Leadership Insitute enjoyed traditions so we set out to start to find and begin new traditions. Our first event was called Ballroom Bash.

Ballroom Bash was a great success. There had never been anything, to our knowledge, that was like this event. This was a free fall themed event. Having inclusivity of all

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PROMO FLYER MADE FOR THE EVENT

members of the Leadership Institute was at the forefront of why the event was being planned. Having fun games, including Kahoot!, a floor tic tac toe, and cornhole, crafts, and season appropriate food and drink we had the perfect set up for a well-themed event. I was very pleased that our team was able, and willing, to go above and beyond to help promote our event. This included being the people in group chats to continuously send the same graphic over and over to let people know that this very fun event was taking place.

 

 

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       This slideshow shows a few pictures from the night, huge thank you to those who were snapping pictures the entire night!

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Now moving on to our last and final event of the year: LEAD on Ice.

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This is an event that has held tradition for many years within the Leadership Institute. This type of event tends to be more laid back than other events since it is ice skating. There was not a lot for our team to do other than promo the event to everyone they know. Our team made their own promo video which you can see here. 

We had a great turn out and our team did a wonderful job promoting our event. I am so thankful for each and every on of them and all they did to make their event the best it could be.

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These are some pictures caught throughout the night.

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When planning events there it is a 50/50 chance that it will either turn out great or turn out way wrong. Our team was able to host two successful events. Both events carried the same values that we had set for ourselves at the beginning. I loved getting to know everyone on my team and seeing them get to know each other. We truly had an amazing team and I am happy I was able to be a part of it.

 

 

 

My Year as a Mentor

In just 18 days, April 20th,  myself and my mentees will be celebrating our first anniversary of the day I revealed who I was to them. I remember that I was ready to help these two girls I fell in love with before I knew them, to prosper at Central Michigan University. I not only was able to help them have a smooth transition from high school to college, but I got to become best friends with two of the most amazing people I have ever met.

I was able to receive two mentees, Natalie and Kate. I knew that having two mentees would be a challenge in many ways and did not know what I could possibly be getting myself into. With two people who are as different as Natalie and KateIMG_0154 are from each other, there was always the possibility of them just not liking each other and I would have to divide my time to them even more than I was planning on.
This was not the case whatsoever. I love seeing all of the different pictures they send me when they’re together and how they support and understand the other and her challenges. It warms my heart that I was a factor in their friendship and making connections when they came to CMU. I’m happy that they could both know someone before coming to CMU.

 

Although we were starting to make connections before the fall semester started, like at Natalie’s final choir concert and Kate’s open house, I feel as if we were able to really connect at the LAS mentor/mentee retreat in October. The retreat is an annual retreat to help grow connections between the mentor/mentee pairs and the freshman cohort. I did not have a great experience the year prior and I knew that I wanted to make my girls experience great so that they could grow from it and continue to make it great for their mentees. Natalie and Kate got together, on their own, and decided that our family needed to be extra and make capes to wear on the bus so that people would know that we were a family. IMG_0479This was one of many memories that I will always hold in my heart forever. I was so happy that they wanted to do this and let everyone know that they were “twins” and I was their mentor. For this retreat, I was the designated picture taker and I took many pictures to document this experience with my mentees so that I could look back and remember the moments we got to share together. We were able to support each other in different activities done at the retreat. I was able to help Natalie climb an outdoor rope course blindfolded. Kate and I were not as willing to do the rope course, both reasons because of awful fears of heights, but were right there to cheer Natalie on as long as she needed us. On the way home while Kate slept, Natalie and I were jamming out to some oldies on the bus ride back to campus. One of these songs included a duet of ‘A Whole New World’ from Disney’s ‘Aladdin’. This was one of my favorite memories.

 

Getting a front-row seat to all Natalie and Kate got to experience was a great feeling. I not only got to cheer them on but also some members of their cohort that I became attached to. I knew that becoming a mentor meant that I was a mentor to all, not just two people. I lived by this and my family grew and multiplied. I met these people through my mentees and I’m so happy I was able to. Not only did I help them when I was in Barnes Residence Hall, which was a lot, I also got to know and appreciate their different personalities and grow to love each and every one of them.

Being a mentor was a great experience. My college experience would not be the same without it. My hope is that the people I was able to mentor to are able to go and mentor others to share the knowledge they gained.

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What is a Mentor?

When I think of what a mentor is I think of a friend but also a confidant and someone to rely on in times of need.

As I am going into my sophomore year of college at CMU I am required, as part of my protocol for LAS, to be a mentor to an incoming freshmen, or in my case two incoming freshmen. My cohort was given a presentation on how to basically be the best mentor we could be. We were able to split into groups and talk about things we had experienced on campus and wish we had known that we didn’t know to ask our mentors. This presentation was beneficial and got me into to the right mindset going into the following week when we were able to choose mentees which was such an amazing and exciting process.

Next fall I get to welcome Natalie and Kate into my LAS family. For them I want to do something my mentor, Garrett, was able to give me which was a friendship first and then we were able to talk and look to each other for questions and help. I am so very thankful to have had Garrett as a my mentor, he’s had such a huge and amazing impact in my life that I hope to be able to provide for my mentees. I want to be able to be their friend but also someone that Natalie and Kate are able to rely on and go to with their questions or if they are having a bad day and just need a quiet place to go and talk or hang out I want to be able to offer my apartment just around the corner from Barnes for them to be that place for them to go.

My ultimate goal is to be a mentor to my girls that they need as two individuals. From what I’ve learned about them in a short time I know I am going to be absolutely blown away by what they are going to accomplish and do during their time at CMU and I am so excited and honored to be a part of that journey for them. I absolutely know I am going to learn from them just like they are going to learn for me.

Congratulations Natalie and Kate! Hurry up and get to CMU, you both have a lot of people waiting for your arrival!

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Special Events Lead Team

Part of the protocol for the Leadership Advancement Scholarship I am a part at Central Michigan University of we have to be a part of a Lead Team. There are various Lead Teams such as planning for competition day ,which is when we get to meet the possible incoming cohort, and a Lead Team that plans a service trip in Detroit. I was a part of the Special Events Lead Team. When I first received the email about which team I was in it was called the “Fun” team, and it truly lived up to that description. We are in charge of planning the various events that bring the different cohorts together throughout the school year for just a way to blow off steam and just have fun. We’ve put together various events such as a minute to win it competition and LEAD on ice. From the very beginning we had decided that the common goal between the events was to bring the cohorts together and also so that we knew people outside of our cohorts and our “families”.

I think that we have done a great job for what we have had to work with. We have had successful events and I think that this is something that will just continue to improve as the years go on. I think that there is always room for improvement and that the team will continue to improve for as long as it’s a team. The team this year definitely kept out goals in mind and we were also very open to what everyone had to say during the planning process and I think that speaks for how successful our team was able to be.

I am proud to say that I am able to carry on the goal of connection between the cohorts as co-chair of the Special Events Lead Team. I think that this is going to be a great experience to have. I feel so honored to have been chosen to be put in this position so I can then carry on the goals that were set in place from this past year. I can’t wait to plan new events and to carry out the “traditional” events that are a staple for our team and that the other cohorts look forward to.

 

LAS in the “D” Reflection

On Friday, February 10th, myself and my cohort for Leadership Advancement Scholarship were given the opportunity to spend a mere 36 hours in the city of Detroit, MI. We were able to see the city as well as give time to volunteer in the city for non-profit organizations.

Starting on Friday we facilitated activities at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA).

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At Jalen Rose

JRLA is a charter school in metro-Detroit that was started in September 2011 and now serves over 400 students 9th-12th grades. This is a school that puts leadership in the center of everything they do, and that was very clear in how they ran things and how the students behaved while we were there. After leaving we were taken to the Quicken Loans building. Here we were given dinner and were able to listen to Buddy Henika who is very high up on the Quicken Loans pyramid, but in the middle of his presentation John Fikany took control of the presentation because of how passionate he is

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Outside of Quicken Loans Building

about Quicken Loans and how he was ready to give us summer internships and it was honestly amazing to see that he believed in us enough to basically offering us a really nice step into the Quicken Loans company. We got to learn a lot about the company and how involved they are in the well being of Detroit and how they want to proved jobs to people. You could really tell they especially like CMU students, they were happy to have us there and we were all very happy to be there. After going to Quicken we were able to go to the Detroit Institute of Art (DIA).

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Candid picture of Markus at the DIA

I wasn’t really ever sure why exactly we were going there until a week after when I was told the history behind the DIA. I throughly enjoyed my time there. The art was amazing and the history now makes me appreciate my time spent there. Next we went to the DNR Outdoor Adventure Center where we spent the night and also got to learn about how it had basically risen from the ground and had nothing but is now something that people travel from out of state to come to.

The next morning we were off to CASS Community Social Services to serve. We were split into groups, my group being the kitchen. In the building where the kitchen there is also a shelter there, which is why they need a kitchen. In the shelter there are three different floors, the first floor is for mothers and children, the second is for veterans, many suffering from PTSD, and the third for men. The kitchen provides three meals a day everyday of the year and week and they serve at least a 1,000 meals a day. One of my tasks was to shred potatoes because they were going to be used to make hash browns for a special breakfast where the veterans in the shelter could come and special order a meal like they were at a diner. This is something that stuck with me the  rest of the day. I have never truly been in Detroit and have only really ever seen the downtown area which is where all the work and re-building is being done. This was the in the outskirts and was in poverty. CASS is a non-profit that is focused on taking care of their people. Providing jobs, food, and shelter. This is so important to have in that area because of the poverty that has struck the people there.

So now, I would like to go back to JRLA and get to know more about it. I learned so much from this part of the trip that I will always have with me. I thought going there that we would be the ‘teachers’ but I learned more from them than I anticipated. Going to Quicken gave me a place where I want to definitely apply for a internship. I can see myself there and I fell in love Detroit from this trip. But CASS gave me the most from this trip. I am not sure if I would go and volunteer there but it makes me want to volunteer more and help those who are trying to help a community. I live near Flint and I understand what is going on there and I want to go and find volunteer opportunities there because I know Flint and I have seen the city deteriorate throughout the years and I know that the city needs some love and if I am able I should be giving it the love it needs.

Now I know I need to do in regards on how to better lead people. I need to be mindful of others comfort levels and to also make sure that I am not automatically trying to take over the situation. I also need to keep an open mind to new learning experiences. Everything is a learning experience that needs to be learned. But now that I have the humbleness in mind I really feel as if I need to volunteer more. I realize how much volunteers are actually needed. I need to volunteer more especially since I am so close to a community in need. Between JRLA and CASS I realize that I needed a reality check and to be thankful for what I have and the life I have and that I also need to share my fortune and bless others the way I have been blessed.

LAS in the “D”

This Friday, February 10th, 2017 I will be going on a service trip in with my LAS cohort. I have heard so many good things about this trip and I am excited for what I will be gaining from this trip. I hope to gain a closer relationship with my cohort and to also have a humbling experience from what I will be seeing and doing in Detroit. I am aware of the poverty that has struck Detroit and the racism that is still present. I know of these things from what I’ve seen in the news and things I’ve heard and seen most of my life.

“Leadership Institute has worked to prepare the next generation of leaders who will act responsibly to improve the quality of life, state of the economy, and communities in which they live.” 

This trip to Detroit is going to give us more of an understanding of something that most of us have never experienced and I believe that this trip will give us the knowledge we need to continue our leadership in our future wherever we all end up. We are going to carry what we learn on this trip with us for the rest of our lives. I cannot wait to see what I will be able to take away from this trip.

(This is actually my favorite mural in Detroit)

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Debate Reflection

This was an interesting class to say the least. This was a class that was required to take for LAS unless you had something that was equal to it. I was very nervous for this class simply because I had never taken anything like debate in high school or something that was even similar to it and I had nothing to base the class off of. And I had thought that this class was going to just be everyone arguing and that it was going to be out of control and that made me nervous coming into the class. But having half of my cohort in there with me definitely made me feel less nervous because I knew that we were going to be able to respect each other and also take it easy on each other.

We did three debates throughout the semester. The first one was a practice debate which was in the style of a parliamentary debate. My group of five ended up doing the first debate for all three debates every time. But the second debate was the real parliamentary debate and our topic was raising the legal driving age to 18. I was on the government side which meant that I was for raising it. I found that every topic we chose to debate on I ended up on the side that I was on the side I didn’t agree with. This made things harder but it gave me a different perspective on the topic. For our last debate we did a Lincoln-Douglas debate and in this one after the government does their first constructive the opposing side gets to ask them questions and vise versa. Our topic was that the legal drinking age should be lowered to 18 in the U.S. This was a very hard topic to debate since I believe that it should NOT be lowered. This was my personal favorite debate because I liked being asked the questions for whatever reason. I felt that it gave me a chance to discuss more in depth things that I did not have on my research or that I didn’t get a chance to discuss more.

Overall the class was definitely not the worst class I’ve had to take this semester. I feel like I learned a lot from this class and can now use these correct debating techniques in the future for whatever reason I need to. I did find it harder though to remember the actual lecture material. Having debate for and hour and fifteen minutes for a 9:30AM class came with many challenges. There were some classes I had to find something to do to just keep myself awake and I had to study twice as hard for the quizzes and the exams because I wasn’t able to completely comprehend them in class. Of course this wasn’t every class but there were a handful of them. I feel that Dr. Professor Cory Anthony Hillman was a good teacher for our class and that he knew how to deal with the LAS kids because he’s had other cohorts before.

Overall this was a good class to take and I can relate it back to leadership in so many different ways.

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