To say LDR 200 was different than LDR 100 would be an understatement. In LDR 100, we just had fun and joked around most of the time. Not that I didn’t enjoy it but we didn’t really learn much about leadership. I was excited when I found out LDR 200 was all about learning what leadership really was. Over the course of the semester we were challenged in our ability to explain, show, and demonstrate. We had to facilitate a 15 minute initiative(not a game!) and a 40 minute workshop.
For my initiative, I had goal setting! I got to work with three other people and we created a fun, education initiative to teach the class. We worked really hard and created a really fun deserted island scenario. From what I saw, the class had a fun time and they had a good time competing with the other teams.
For my workshop, I had the path-goal theory. This theory talks about how leaders should motivate their followers through setting goals. According to the theory there are four different types of leaders. We wanted to base our activity on this aspect. I am so proud to say that I created the entire activity we did. We had a list of qualities from the book describing the four types. I came up with “Pin the Trait on the Leader!” The class was split up into groups and tried to figure out which traits corresponded with which type of leader. I was nervous to present but I think we did a great job and I am proud of the entire group.
Every year all the Leader Advancement Scholars are put on a LEAD Team. These teams help create events for CMU and the LI. I was so thrilled to be one of four freshmen chosen to be on the Competition Day LEAD Team! I had the very fun privilidge of being in charge of creating all the posters and signs for the event. My group had oodles of fun! I was lucky enough to get to work with some really stupendous upperclassmen. The day before the competition all of the scholars got together and you could feel the energy flowing through the LI. It was so exciting! The day went to smoothly and everyone had a great time.
Yesterday, I was asked to help create a non-profit organization. We are called Pack your Back and we are committed to collecting school supplies for cities in crisis. The current water crisis in Flint has created the need for many things besides water. These families are extremely poor. The poverty rate is 42% compared to the national average of 14%. So not only are these people being deprived of water but the majority of them are below the poverty line.
School supplies are something many of us take for granted. Every summer we get excited to go to the local Target and stock up on pencils and folders and think nothing of it. For many kids in Flint this isn’t the case. These families don’t have the money to buy food let alone schools supplies. Supplies are essential for the learning and success of students. It can hinder their learning and could be quite embarrassing to some students.
Right now we are at the very beginning of this huge project. We are creating volunteer positions and finding collection locations. We are also working on sponsorships so we can become an official non-profit organization. Our website is in the process of being improved and filling with information very quickly.
Long term we want to expand to a nation wide organization. We hope to help other cities as unfortunate disasters happen. For now we are helping Flint because it is close to home. All of the directors, including myself, are from Michigan. We all know at least someone from the Flint area. This is something we are all passionate about and hope to find others who want to help our cause.
A Fred is someone who wants to make life a little easier for others. Someone who is a Fred does small random acts of kindness to help others. They do extraordinary things in their ordinary lives. Fred Factor is a book written by Mark Sanborn. Fred was Mark’s mailman. Fred always went out of his way to help Mark in any way he could. He didn’t do huge things to change the world but he did things that helped change Mark’s world. Mark was a professional speaker and started speaking about Fred. Many people realized all they ever wanted to do was be a Fred.
“One thing I do know: Fred, and the way he did his job, is a perfect metaphor for anyone who wants to achieve and excel in the 21st century. Truth is transferable, and the four principles I learned from Fred apply to any person in any profession. ” -Mark Sanborn
The Leadership Institute at Central Michigan University gave all the LAS 2015 recipients a Fred Factor book. In LDR 100, we were then told to become Freds. Our final project was a group project on being Freds. My group had many ideas but we decided to implement a random acts of kindness throughout campus. We all made cards that said things like “you are beautiful, have a great day, donate an old piece of clothing, and write a letter to an old teacher that you appreciate.” Some of the cards had compliment and by giving those out we were being Freds. Some of the cards had a random act on them which encouraged others to be a Fred. One of our goals was to brighten peoples day. We believe we did because we had multiple people thank us through our hashtag, #cmurandomacts. We didn’t change the world but we did make a difference in the lives of others and that’s what matters.
Connections 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 compliment people in our group on all the great things about them. Giving and receiving kind words really brought us together as a group.
Leadership Safari is a week long leadership event for freshmen and transfer students at CMU. We move in a week early and get acclimated to campus. During the week, participants attend workshops, speakers, and ice-breakers. Participants get put into groups of about 10 and we were paired with a well-rounded, educated upperclassmen.
One the first full day of Safari, we experience excursions and had a super fun, hype kick off event. We got the chance to listen to some pretty great a cappella groups. We also had a Safari wide ice-breaker with David Coleman. The following day, we started the morning listening to Michael Miller. In the afternoon, we participated in a bonding leadership challenge course. We went to an amazing performance by Ebony and The Asia Project, both are amazing poets, later that night. The next morning, we listened to a very funny, wild Ed Gerety. That afternoon we all learned a valuable lesson. For lunch we all got different colored lunch according to our name tags. Sounds pretty normal but when we got back to our groups we quickly realized something was going on. We all had a different amount of food. However, my group handled this well. We put all the food in the middle and rationed it out. The lesson was not everyone has it easy in life and the fortunate people, like us, should help in any way possible. We continued with that lesson in the following activity. We all packaged food for third world counties. This wasn’t a huge thing for us but our small acts of kindness could possibly change someones life. I really loved the idea of that. Our final day was excited and sad at the same time. We got the chance to learn some great CMU traditions. We ended safari with a great conference dinner and an awesome celebration!!