LAS in Detroit Post Trip

The LAS in the D trip was truly something I will never forget. So much growth was achieved while we were in the 313. I was very intrigued and challenged while we were down there. I got more out of the trip than I expected. I had fairly high hopes but it was a lot different from what I expected.

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We started at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. I was most excited for the part of the trip. We had some technical difficulties so we were a bit late so the beginning was kinda awkward. The students at JRLA seemed less than thrilled to be there but as soon as we started playing ice-breakers and creating chants they complete changed. You could hear the sound of laughter rising and it made my heart happy. Throughout the day we rotated to different service based activities. We did projects to benefit Children’s Hospital, OK2SAY, Special Olympics, and Veterans. For the students to graduate they must have a certain number of hours of community service per year. This was a fun, new way for them to get a lot of hours and they really enjoyed it. I loved meeting the students. They have so much potential and are just like us with their hunger to succeed. I really wish I could watch them become great leaders in today’s society. I hope the scholars I worked with learned half as much from me as I did from them.

 

Friday evening we got to experience Downtown Detroit. It is a pretty familiar area to me since I live a few cities away. I still gained a lot from the experience. For some odd reason, I never went to the DIA and it was truly amazing. The first room I went into took my breath away. I love the arts and that brought tears to my eyes. It was just so inspiring to me. These artists created these master pieces hundreds of years ago and they still make people think today.

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The Outdoor Adventure Center, where we slept for the night, was so much fun! We were so lucky that we got to stay there. I was really taken back by how old the building was. The history of the building and area were very interesting to me. The whole place is like taking a piece of the forest and sticking it in Downtown Detroit. The amount of work that Mrs.Walters has put into the center is so great and I am very grateful for what she did for us. While we were there, my group had a really great debriefing session about the trip thus far. We all talked about how the scholars at the JRLA inspired us. We all had our ups and downs for the day but we all agreed that we learned so much about ourselves, others, and Detroit.

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Saturday morning, we woke up bright and early to head to CASS community services. I was really unsure what to expect. I started my service for the organization at the soup kitchen. It was definitely different than anything I had ever done. Some of the things that were said to us were inappropriate but I just tried to remember what we were there for and keep a positive attitude. We cleaned the dining area, organized the pantry, and helped prepare food for the people living there. After that, we headed to help make the tire mats. This is was so cool! I was so intrigued by how passion some of the people working there were. They were so proud of their work so they accepted nothing but great. Some moments were frustrating but when Jordyn and I finally finished our mat I was so proud.

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I learned so much from this trip about myself, serving others, and relationships. I personally grew a lot from the experience. I also realized that service is always comfortable or easy. Sometimes you have to put your feelings aside to make the lives of other better and I fully intend on doing that when deciding where and when to volunteer from now on. I grew closer with a handful of people in my cohort while on this trip. I am continuously amazed by some of the people I am surrounded with. I am so grateful for the trip and the things I experienced while I was in Detroit.

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Connections Conference

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 12.00.36 AM.pngConnections is a networking conference for student leaders from CMU. November 7th we all headed up to Traverse City to meet new people, create new friendships, get new ideas, and grow as leaders. We attended speakers, had some great food, and bonded in the waterpark.

We started out with a delicious lunch then headed to meet our home group for the conference. We discussed all the resources we have on campus and how we can utilize them to better our organizations. From there we listened to campus leaders on different topics.

My first session was time management. We discussed time wasters. I realized I am better at managing my time than I thought. I rarely waste my time doing things that are not important. I also attended a speaker that talked about having efficient meetings. This isn’t useful to me yet but in the future I hope I get the chance to lead an RSO on campus. My next speaker was about having fierce conversations. I really needed to attend this. I often find it hard to deal with confrontation. This session offered a way to deal with confrontation in an appropriate, respectful way. My last session was dancing through social change. We talked about how important art is to society. The great thing about art, either physically or fine arts, is everyone interrupts it differently.

After we attended all our choices sessions, we met back up with our home groups. We talked about how we can put what we had learned during the weekend to use on campus. We also got the chance to complimentĀ people in our group on all the great things about them. Giving and receiving kind words really brought us together as a group.

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Mentor/Mentee Retreat

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College is scary. Everyone knows that. Having someone to look up to is so great and beneficial. All freshmen LAS members are given a sophomore mentor to help guide them through their years here at CMU. I was blessed to be given an angel named Sara. During the second weekend of school we all headed to Eagle Village to have a bonding retreat. We did challenge courses and high ropes to become closer as cohorts and mentor/mentee pairings. Personally I struggled with the high ropes. I have never been afraid of heights until I got up there. I was petrified. Sara was so supportive the whole time and really encouraged me to keep going. One part I sincerely enjoyed was the canoeing trip. I got to hangout with people I hadn’t gotten the chance to know so it was pleasant getting to spend time with them. I really appreciate that the Leadership Institute sentĀ us on such a beneficial, memorable retreat.