My year at CMU has introduced me to some amazing people. I hope I impacted any of them as much as they impacted me. I may be over 100 miles away but I will always remember and appreciate everything they did for me. Here are just a few from the countless number of great people I met this school year.
Morgan and Derek- These two humans are truly gems in this world. I had a hard time making friends here but these two were always trying to break me out of my shell. Whether that be introducing me to new people or inviting me to go out. I could always count on these two for a word of advice or a listening ear. Derek is such a passionate intelligent person and the world needs more people like him. Morgan is truly a darling human being. She is not only beautiful on the outside but she is beautiful on the inside too. I will be visiting Cheboygan and Port Huron in my future!
2. Madi- She may be the most dedicated person I have ever met. I thought I loved school and learning then I met Madi. Not only is she majoring in math but she manages to kick butt at it too. She is always will to do that it takes to learn as much as possible. I wouldn’t have survived in or out of the classroom without her. She was always willing to help me with class work or with boy problems. We have spent so much time together talking about life and future plans. I can’t wait to see all the students she impacts when she becomes a teacher in a few years. She is going to be amazing.
3. Teddy- Whenever I talk about Teddy, which is often, I tell people “God decided he wanted sunshine in a person and made her.” I could write about Teddy forever. I was so lucky to have met Teddy at competitions day. She is the kindest person I have ever met, no questions. She would do pretty much anything for anyone. From our daily breakfasts to our late night Bachelor viewing parties I knew I would end up laughing. I always leave Teddy in a better mood than I came. Her commitment to God could inspire anyone. She is so passionate about her faith and I hope to have a relationship with God like that one day.
4. Sara- How I was blessed with such a great mentor, I will never know! Sara has been so helpful this entire school year. From the day I found out she was my mentor, I had probably ask more questions than everyone wants to get. She was always more than willing to help me out in navigating this crazy college life. Her dedication for her education is truly something I admire. With both of us getting a masters to be Physician’s Assistants I can only hope we can support each other on that journey.
5. Ladies of VOX- Never be afraid to stand up for your passion is just one of the many things I learned from joining VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood. VOX is an advocate for women’s health, safe sex practices, and pro-choice. We are an odd bunch but I wouldn’t change anything. These women are the most accepting group I have ever met. We have talked about thing I never dreamed about telling people because there was never any judgment. I hope to continue to advocate for women for many years to come.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Over Winter Break, I went to my high school to help facilitate some leadership activities. The President and the advisor of the HOSA chapter at my high school asked me to come in and help with Leadership Wednesday. Their goal for 2016 was to create more leaders within their organization. I was so honored that they asked me to help. I really grew as a leader while I was the President of the chapter my senior year. The activity I facilitated was Dream Boards for the upcoming year. Since 2016 had just started I thought it was a good time to set some goals and make them visible every day. Everyone really enjoyed the activity and they set some great goals.
How many people can say they met the President of their university? Not many, but I can! President George Ross took time out of his extremely busy schedule to visit my LDR 100 class this fall. Dr.Ross was truly a pleasure to listen to. He told us about his life growing up and why he is the man he is today. He didn’t have an easy up bring and defeated the odds. He went to Michigan State University and University of Alabama. He has had the opportunity to work at 6 universities. He mentioned that CMU just has something special about it. While in our class he answered many questions and got to know the freshmen LAS class.
This past week I also attended Pizza with the President. President Ross visits all the part of campus every fall to see what the students are thinking. We asked questions and got free food! I asked specifically about our med. school and physicians assistant program. He told me a few success stories about how we are competing with large universities. He told me to keep my dream alive of working high up in the medical field. It was awesome! He really motivated me to kick butt in my upcoming finals.
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.
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 sent us on such a beneficial, memorable retreat.